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Kaiser Permanente: Loss and Renewal After AIDS: Why I Care

After losing his partner to AIDS, Rusty Myers, a palliative care social worker at Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Oregon, channeled his growing passion to care for patients facing terminal illness.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

For many of us, our journeys have taken circuitous routes that have eventually brought us to the work we do at Kaiser Permanente. My story began with significant loss and pain, which led to resiliency, and brought me to the work of hospice and palliative care.

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Kaiser Permanente Helps Oakland International Airport Passengers Reduce Stress and Maintain Good Mental Health

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, transformation of OAK Terminal 2 security checkpoint encourages passengers to breathe, relax and thrive.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest integrated health care system, has introduced some practical and whimsical ways for passengers departing Terminal 2 at the Oakland International Airport to reduce the stress of air travel and encourage them to stay healthy this busy holiday travel season and beyond. This effort is part of nonprofit Kaiser Permanente's commitment to the total health of body, mind and spirit of the communities it serves.

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Kaiser Permanente's Overall Quality of Medical Care Earns Highest Rating from the Office of Patient Advocate

Top score was also earned for providing quality behavioral and mental health care.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Northern and Southern California health plans are the only plans in the state to receive 5 stars — the highest possible rating — for overall quality of medical care in the annual Healthcare Quality Report Card from California's Office of the Patient Advocate.

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Anthony B. Coleman: Veterans Should Discover Their Passion and Allow it to Lead to a Profession

Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.

Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration. He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?

My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.

DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?

Two things stick out in my mind as important.

The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.

This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.

The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.

DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?

Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.

Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.

DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.

In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.

After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.

Anthony B. Coleman: Veterans Should Discover Their Passion and Allow it to Lead to a Profession

Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.

Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration.

He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?

My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.

DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?

Two things stick out in my mind as important.

The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.

This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.

The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.

DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?

Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.

Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.

DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.

In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.

After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente: An Appetite for Sustainable Food: Making the Climate Connection

Our food goal is an important part of Kaiser Permanente's set of broad environmental goals.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

When we think about ways to combat climate change, food may not immediately spring to mind. However, the production, processing, packaging, distribution, consumption and waste of food contribute to our overall carbon footprint. We recently chatted with Skip Skivington, leader of Kaiser Permanente's National Food Strategy Committee and vice president of Health Care Continuity Management and Support Services, about how Kaiser Permanente is engaging in sustainable food practices.

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Kaiser Permanente: Strengthening America's Mental Health Workforce Together

"Now, more than ever, we need an educated and trained workforce to address mental health and substance us challenges facing Americans, but we are coming up short."

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

With more than 44 million Americans having a diagnosable mental health condition—56 percent of which do not receive treatment—taskforces unite from various sectors in strengthening the nation's mental health workforce.

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Kaiser Permanente: With the Flu Season Underway, New Study Shows Vaccine Benefits for Pregnant Women

"Expecting mothers face a number of risks to their health and the health of their baby during pregnancy, and getting the flu is one of them."

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanante.

The 2018­-2019 flu season is here, and Kaiser Permanente is once again urging its employees and members to get vaccinated. While the effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies from year to year, the message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has remained the same: to prevent flu, the best thing you can do is get a flu shot every year.

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Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions have reached a Tentative Agreement on a national, 3-year collective bargaining agreement that covers nearly 48,000 unionized Kaiser Permanente health care workers in 22 union locals.

The negotiations, which began in May, were among the largest private-sector contract talks in the United States this year. The deputy director and commissioners of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service attended the sessions. The tentative agreement was reached on September 23.

The Tentative Agreement goes far beyond the traditional contract issues of wages and benefits. It includes provisions to strengthen the groundbreaking labor-management partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance, at the senior leadership level as well as the front-line level. This includes 3,600 unit-based teams — jointly led by pairs of managers and union-represented employees — that are delivering significant improvements in the areas of quality, affordability, service and work environment on behalf of Kaiser Permanente members and patients.

The Tentative Agreement also offers enhanced career development programs to enable Kaiser Permanente's workforce to continue meeting member needs in an evolving health care environment.

"This agreement advances our ability to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve," said Chuck Columbus, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president and chief Human Resources officer. "We're proud of the skilled, dedicated and compassionate people of Kaiser Permanente who are devoted to our mission, our members and patients, communities and each other."

"Our unions are committed to raising the standards of health care delivery, and the living standards of workers everywhere," said Alliance Executive Board Chair Kathleen Theobald, executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Nurse Anesthetists Association. "We have shown that we can deliver top quality care hand in hand with industry-leading wages and benefits. This Tentative Agreement strengthens our partnership and our ability to keep delivering improvement for patients and workers."

The agreement also reaffirms both parties' commitment to working together under a new Labor Management Partnership agreement. The original agreement, reached in 1997, provided a joint strategy for organizational innovation and change, created an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and actively involved the workforce in decision-making. The new agreement builds on that, strengthening the commitment that Kaiser Permanente and the partner unions will promote each other's mutual success.

The new Tentative Agreement includes:

  • Across-the-board wage increases, which vary by region and by year.
  • Enhanced processes to re-energize the Labor Management Partnership and ensure the engagement of senior leaders.
  • A new labor-management trust to fund the partnership with the Alliance.
  • A new educational trust to fund job training, pursuit of academic degrees, professional certification and career counseling services for employees represented by an Alliance union.
  • Continued support for 3,600 front-line teams. Worker engagement and participation in these teams have helped Kaiser Permanente garner recognition for clinical quality, patient safety and member satisfaction from organizations such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The Tentative Agreement was unanimously approved by an Alliance bargaining delegate conference September 29 and will now go to union members for ratification. The voting is expected to be complete by the end of October. A senior Kaiser Permanente leadership group must also give its formal approval. If ratified, the agreement will have a retroactive effective date of October 1, 2018.

The contract will cover nearly 48,000 health care workers: 32,100 workers in California; 6,300 in Oregon and Washington; 2,100 in Colorado; 2,200 in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia; 2,800 in Georgia; and 1,900 in Hawaii. The workers span job classifications from registered nurses and pharmacists to maintenance and service workers.

Unconscious Bias Training Isn't the Silver Bullet, What's Next?

Executives from Kaiser Permanente, PwC and Ameren discuss how training coupled with other initiatives on an ongoing basis will help shift culture.

During this panel session at DiversityInc's 2018 fall event, Armond Kinsey, Chief Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Permanente; Sharon Harvey Davis, Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ameren; Elena Richards, Managing Director, Office of Diversity, PwC discuss that after unconscious bias awareness training, policies, procedures and programs are needed to eliminate bias in the workplace and create a culture of inclusion.

Kaiser Permamente: Climate Change – An 'Urgent Human Health Issue'

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson Speaks at 2018 Global Climate Action Summit.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente is the leading health care sponsor of this week's Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, and CEO Bernard J. Tyson addressed the conference Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, during a session called, "Healthy Planet, Healthy People." Tyson discussed Kaiser Permanente's commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020 — and how we are already on our way at 30 percent of that goal.

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More Care and Convenience for More Washingtonians: Kaiser Permanente Announces 5 New Clinics Coming Soon

The new medical centers will open between the end of 2018 and early 2020.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente will expand its number of medical centers to 30 by adding 5 new medical centers over the next 18 months, further expanding patients' access to their choice of world-class providers in state-of-the-art facilities. The organization announced that individuals and families will soon be able to access Kaiser Permanente's convenient care in Gig Harbor, Ballard, West Olympia, Smokey Point and Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood.

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