Building healthier communities

Healthy individuals need healthy communities, and healthy communities need healthy people to thrive.

Building healthier communities

Healthy individuals need healthy communities, and healthy communities need healthy people to thrive.

At Kaiser Permanente, we are working to improve the conditions for health and equity in the community by addressing the root causes of health, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, safe and supportive schools, and a healthy environment. These improvements grow from our collaboration with each community to co-design and co-create solutions that truly make a positive impact.

By engaging members, communities, our sizeable workforce, and all of our organization’s considerable assets, we are working to create communities that are among the healthiest in the nation, and inspiring greater health for America and the world.

Public health

The pandemic exposed significant, long-standing gaps in the United States public health infrastructure. Investing in the resilience of our public health system is vital for maintaining the health and well-being of our communities and ensuring our health system can anticipate, prepare for, and respond to future health emergencies.

Together with our partners in community-based organizations and across public health and health care, we launched 3 forward-looking initiatives to address the challenges faced by our public health system. Our shared public health agenda focuses on 3 critical areas:

  • Improving relationships between public health agencies and health care institutions
  • Improving partnerships between public health and community-based organizations
  • Developing a public health services research agenda

Gun violence prevention

Gun violence is a public health crisis. Together with all health care organizations, we must do more to prevent gun violence and educate people on its health implications for our society. We believe we can contribute our knowledge, experience, and passion to help solve this critical public health challenge.

Through our recently established Center for Gun Violence Research and Education and a $25 million commitment, we’re expanding our efforts toward reducing the incidence and impact of gun violence in the U.S., including community violence, intimate partner violence, and suicide. We’ll address the intergenerational trauma gun violence inflicts on communities, including the profound impact the aftermath of shootings has in communities of color.

Economic opportunity

Inclusive economic growth is critical to both individual and community health. When there is a lack of economic opportunity in communities, the prospects for upward social mobility are diminished, often resulting in poorer health, higher mortality rates, and less prevalence of healthy behaviors among people living in those communities. By contrast, economic growth and opportunity provides jobs, income, a sense of purpose, and opportunities to improve one’s economic circumstances overtime.

As a large, influential institution in our communities, Kaiser Permanente recognizes that we can change the way we do business to support economic opportunity more intentionally by how we hire, purchase, build, and partner with communities.

Housing security

Housing stability is a key factor in a person’s overall health and well-being. When individuals and families experience housing instability, they deal with mental and physical stress, forced to make hard choices between basic life necessities and paying for health care. With homelessness affecting more than 550,000 people every day throughout our country, the need for safe, stable, and affordable housing has never been greater.

Kaiser Permanente understands the connection between housing and health. Our impact investments aim to create more affordable housing, reduce the displacement of lower- and middle-income households, and end homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing.

Healthy neighborhoods

The places where we live, learn, work, and play — our cities and towns, our schools, our homes, our neighborhoods — have an enormous impact on our health. And how we shape those places, through public policy and the building up of healthy environments, has the potential to make real, lasting impacts on our surroundings and our everyday quality of life.

Through Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing partnerships with community organizations, municipal leaders, and public health champions, we are working to incorporate health, equity, and sustainability considerations into public policy and the built environment in ways that influence how neighborhoods take shape and grow.

Environmental stewardship

At Kaiser Permanente, we believe it is our obligation as a health care provider to minimize our environmental impact. We embed efforts to be environmentally responsible throughout our organization — in how we power our facilities, purchase food and medical supplies and equipment, manage waste, and invest in our communities. We also prioritize partnerships with others to develop policies and systems that strengthen community health and protect our environment.

Thriving Schools

At Kaiser Permanente, we’re committed to creating communities where people can be healthy in all the places they live, learn, work, and play. This is especially important in schools, where better health boosts educational success and educational success leads to better lifelong health, employment, earning potential, and self-confidence.

Thriving Schools is our all-in engagement to improve health for students, staff, and teachers. Our vision is that every community can count on their school as a champion for good health that enables great learning.