SEATTLE, Aug. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente Washington joins today with families throughout our region as it launches a statewide, long-term commitment in creating healthier communities.
"We promised our members that Kaiser Permanente would bring our world-class approach to care to all Washingtonians and invest in our people, our care delivery and our community," said Susan Mullaney, president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. "We refer to our approach as Total Health – including body, mind and spirit.
"Total health happens where we live, work, learn and play. That's why we're investing in healthy and sustainable communities to address the building blocks for health. That's why we're excited to be the lead sponsor for Big Day of Play, a celebration of diversity, and a chance to build relationships and explore ways families can play and be active together," Mullaney said.
Steve Tarnoff, MD, president, Washington Permanente Medical Group, said, "The goals of this event align with ours: improving health outcomes, expanding relationships with underserved communities, and removing barriers to access, opportunity and resources."
Presented by the Seattle Parks and Recreation's Get Moving Initiative, this free community event at Rainer Playfields on Aug. 19 is just one example of how Kaiser Permanente is engaging to reach thousands of children and families.
Among Kaiser Permanente's commitments to creating healthy communities:
Thriving Schools: In October, working with Seattle Children's Theatre, Kaiser Permanente will debut a new educational theater program. Helping young teens address the issue of bullying is the first topic. The $600,000 investment is expected to reach more than 20,000 students in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, Spokane and Whitman counties during the 2017–2018 school year. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente provides more than $2 million in care for more than 7,500 students through school-based clinics at eight locations and at Orion Health Center, where we reach another 1,000 homeless and at-risk youth.
Healthy Eating, Active Living: Beyond the many day-of offerings at the Big Day of Play, visitors will find a pop-up fitness area that features an example of exercise equipment being installed at 10 parks and playgrounds around the state over the next two years through Kaiser Permanente's collaboration with the Trust for Public Land and local communities.
Kaiser Permanente is also supporting a pilot of Pause & Play stations at two bus stops in the Rainier Valley. The installations are designed to provide an easy outlet for young people to stay active – even while waiting for the bus.
Access for the underserved and underinsured: While extending support in other ways, Kaiser Permanente also remains fully committed to providing care and coverage for many who are uninsured or underserved. This includes $30 million to serve about 25,000 Medicaid members this year, and providing about $3 million in medical financial aid.
And more: "These are just a few examples of how we are ramping up to do more to address the needs of communities we serve," Mullaney said. "Kaiser Permanente believes that creating healthy and sustainable communities requires a wide variety of community-based strategies as well as the support from a broad array of contributors, advocates, policy experts, health practitioners and most importantly, community residents.
"In Washington, our mission includes our 670,000 members and more than 6 million people across the areas we serve," said Mullaney.
From increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables to advancing economic opportunity, from addressing the profound need for mental health resources to making business choices that respect our environment, Kaiser Permanente is excited to partner with the people of Washington to make total health a reality for all.
About Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.