March 12, 2021

Service leaders honored for improving community health

Each year, Kaiser Permanente recognizes employees and physicians for outstanding volunteer work. Winners each select a nonprofit to receive a $10,000 donation.

Kym Kinoshita (right) directs patients at the Seattle King County Clinic. Photo courtesy of Auston James.

Creating a Kaiser Permanente Pride Provider Advisory Board and preparing teams to perform complex spinal surgeries abroad are examples of the many ways Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians are improving community health. At Kaiser Permanente, we value our employees and physicians for the impact they make both on the job and outside of work. That’s why, since 2003, we’ve been giving out the David Lawrence Community Service Award.

For 2020, 11 recipients are being honored with the award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding volunteer work that improves the health of our communities.

The award is named in honor of David M. Lawrence, MD, a former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and a lifelong advocate for improving health. Kaiser Permanente makes a $10,000 charitable contribution on behalf of each winner to the nonprofit of his or her choice.

“At a time when we are facing continued challenges from the global pandemic and increasing inequities in our communities, we are proud to recognize these amazing accomplishments,” said Stephanie Ledesma, interim senior vice president, Community Health Programs. “I am grateful to this year’s award winners who live Kaiser Permanente’s mission both in their work and personal lives every day.”

Meet the winners of the 2020 David Lawrence Community Service Award: 

women volunteering in kitchen at GrowHaus

Colorado Region

Cheryl Kelly (Investigator, Institute for Health Research)

After first volunteering with GrowHaus — a nonprofit indoor farm, education center, and marketplace in north Denver — Kelly now serves on the organization’s board of directors and leads the board’s evaluation and learning committee. GrowHaus addresses people’s lack of access to food and educates the public about healthy cooking. Kelly helps collect data to refine, improve, and increase the organization’s community reach.

Georgia Region

Shannon McCoy (Business Process Consultant, National Benefits Administration)

Volunteering comes as naturally as breathing to McCoy, who has been volunteering for over 30 years. She is active with the Stone-Mountain Lithonia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Stonecrest Community Civic Association, and JJ’s Playhouse Children’s Museum and Gym, to name a few. Her roles in these organizations include music committee co-chair, World AIDS Day project manager, IT consultant, and secretary.

Hawaii Market

Marcus Iwane, MD (Physician Chief, Kaiser Permanente Nanaikeola Clinic)

Dr. Iwane fiercely advocates for the elimination of health disparities among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders through volunteerism, community partnerships, and mentorship of emerging Native Hawaiian doctors. His community roles include serving as board member and vice president for the Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians and as a participant in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Hawaii COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resilience Team.

Mid-Atlantic States Region

Jim Doroski (Consultant Principal, Kaiser Permanente IT)

Working with an organization called Eight Days of Hope, Doroski travels the United States to provide disaster relief assistance. Within a few years of volunteering with Eight Days of Hope, Doroski has gone on 10 trips and worked on approximately 25 projects. He provides rebuilding and clean-up services, helping individuals and families who could not otherwise afford to rebuild their homes and who have no alternative place to live.

David Lawrence Award winner Ravi Bains, MD

Northern California Region

Ravi Bains, MD (Spine Surgeon)

Through the nonprofit he founded, Standing Straight, Dr. Bains and volunteers complete 2 surgical mission trips per year. He and his team perform complex spinal surgeries in a region of India where this type of care is greatly needed, especially for young adults and children. Between trips, Dr. Bains and his team prepare for the missions by assembling teams, securing medical equipment, and sorting out logistics. He also partners with local Indian hospitals to expand services for spinal surgery.

David Lawrence Award winner Jennifer Slovis, MD

Jennifer Slovis, MD (Internal Medicine, Adult Primary Care)

Dr. Slovis has cared for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and nonbinary patients throughout her career and has devoted herself to improving the health care experience for LGBTQ members. After recognizing that her peers were not learning necessary skills to care for this underserved population, she helped create the KP Pride Provider Advisory Board, which she chairs. She also created a larger community of health care providers, in Northern California and beyond, who have an interest in learning more about LGBTQ health care.

Northwest Region

Amber Medina (Emergency Department Nursing Assistant)

Medina grew up in Gaston, Oregon, and knows how to help her hometown become a healthy, safe, thriving community for all residents. She has started initiatives and programs, including efforts with the Gaston School District, Gaston Youth Sports, and Sisters of the Knights. With Sisters of the Knights, Medina organizes volunteers and outreach efforts to provide help to the elderly and homeless populations of Gaston. She appreciates seeing others become empowered to lead.

Megan Dudley, MD (Pediatrician)

Dr. Dudley’s parents met at a Japanese internment camp during World War II in Arkansas. Afterward, families were scared to share their background, stories, language, and traditions with their own children, friends, and communities. This led Dr. Dudley to want to provide a space for families today to share their stories. She founded a chapter of the nonprofit Meaningful Movies, an organization that uses social justice documentary film-making to build community, and established the Ridgefield Multicultural Festival, both of which promote a welcoming culture in Ridgefield, Washington, for all citizens.

Diane Truong, MD

Southern California Region

Diane Truong, MD (Pediatrician)

Dr. Truong was drawn to giving back to Vietnam, the country she and her family left at the end of the Vietnam War. She began volunteering with VnHOPE as a lead pediatrician on a medical mission to Vietnam, and her involvement then greatly expanded. She has served on the advisory board as vice president, and she is currently a member of the board — all in addition to taking groups of medical students with her to Vietnam, where she mentors them while they deliver care during the charitable organization’s annual 2-week medical missions.

Harjeet Kaur

Harjeet Kaur (Senior Director, Kaiser Permanente IT System Architecture)

As part of United Sikhs, Kaur has helped coordinate the preparation, packaging, and delivery of 350 to 500 hot meals on a weekly basis to homeless communities across Los Angeles for the last 6 years. During the pandemic, Kaur has been coordinating the donation of personal protective equipment, supplies, hygiene products, and water to smaller health clinics.

David Efroymson at the Seattle King County Clinic directing volunteers to help provide medical care to Washingtonians in need
Photo courtesy of Auston James.

Washington Region

Kym Kinoshita (Director, Referral and Review Services) and David Efroymson (Senior Director, Supply Chain)

Kinoshita and Efroymson are members of the leadership team at the Seattle King County Clinic. Each year, the clinic hosts a 4-day event to provide free dental, vision, and medical care to people who do not have access to affordable health care. To recruit Kaiser Permanente employees to volunteer, Kinoshita and Efroymson (pictured on left) present at team meetings, send out emails, attend events, and talk one-on-one with colleagues to garner support and interest for the Seattle King County Clinic. Together, Kinoshita and Efroymson have successfully brought in an average of 250 Kaiser Permanente volunteers per year to the clinic since 2018.