January 17, 2023

Increasing community resilience with disaster readiness

Kaiser Permanente partners with the American Red Cross to help address unmet social needs and community factors that impact health.

The Marshall Fire was the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

Contact: Elizabeth Whitehead

As we enter 2023 and reflect on the one-year anniversary of Colorado’s devastating Marshall Fire, Kaiser Permanente in Colorado announces a $650,000 investment to help the American Red Cross meet the needs of people affected by disasters large and small across the country.

Kaiser Permanente, the largest nonprofit provider of health care and coverage in Colorado, has been a long-time supporter of the Red Cross. Last year the health care organization donated $350,000 toward Red Cross Disaster Relief in the wake of the destructive Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado.

This new donation focuses on disaster preparedness and response efforts — to help the Red Cross prepare for future emergencies. Kaiser Permanente is joining other forward-looking companies and organizations that support the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, or ADGP, to help the agency have supplies, technology, and personnel at the ready, before a disaster occurs.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen the numbers of weather-related disasters increase in Colorado and elsewhere. And at Kaiser Permanente, we’ve seen the resulting immediate and long-term impact that disasters have on health and well-being,” said Mike Ramseier, regional president of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. “We make it a priority to invest in the health and resilience of the communities where we live and work. That’s why helping our neighbors who were affected by disasters like the Marshall Fire was the right thing to do, and we want to help get ahead of what’s next.”

Kaiser Permanente is accelerating efforts to broaden the scope of its care and services to address all factors that affect people’s well-being. Improving health — a core part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission — is about more than just providing high-quality medical care. Good health starts in communities. Supporting disaster preparedness is one more way Kaiser Permanente can address unmet social needs and community factors that impact health. Having a safe place to live, access to healthy meals, and meaningful social connections are essential to total wellness.

The Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters across the country every year, providing critical necessities and hope during what can be the worst days of people’s lives (as we saw with the Marshall Fire). Donations from ADGP members like Kaiser Permanente enable the Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters of all sizes, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur, and help families during the recovery process.

“Annual Disaster Giving Program members like Kaiser Permanente are truly extraordinary because they understand the importance of having vital resources in place before a crisis strikes — and that’s even more critical now as disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and storms are increasingly frequent and intense,” said Anne McKeough, chief development officer for the American Red Cross. “As we continue to see more severe disasters, more often, in the face of the climate crisis, we are extremely grateful for these forward-thinking donors that ensure we can grow our capacity to help people across the country in their darkest hours.”

More resources

Social needs, like having a safe place to live, healthy meals, enough money to pay the bills, reliable transportation, and meaningful social connections, are essential for good health. Anyone with unmet social needs is encouraged to explore Kaiser Permanente’s Community Resource Directory to locate community organizations that can help.

Learn more about social health and Kaiser Permanente’s role in the communities we serve.