Our impact

Our impact

Our status as a mission-driven nonprofit organization sets us apart from other health plans and allows us to live our mission.

We remain dedicated to supporting the full continuum of health and helping make the healthy choice the easy choice for our members and Coloradans in the communities we serve. Every year is a new opportunity to deliver on our promise because we care about Coloradans’ total health — physical, behavioral, emotional, social, and financial.

We’re committed to our social mission, in the past 10 years alone, we’ve provided more than $1 billion in community support — from grants to volunteer work. In 2020, we proudly invested more than $136 million to community health programs to improve the health of all Coloradans, while responding to the pandemic. Read about a few of the examples of how we address health disparities and public health issues. 

Diversity scholarships promote inclusion

We’ve been inspiring and encouraging students to pursue careers in the health care industry through an ambitious scholarship program for 15 years. The scholarships are focused on the future of equity and service in health care.

In 2020, we awarded $45,000 in scholarships to 12 students who’ve overcome their own personal challenges to be able to help others as health care professionals. Since the inception of the program, Kaiser Permanente Colorado has provided nearly $645,000 in scholarships to help hundreds of students achieve their dreams of working in the health care industry.

Congratulations to this year’s 12 award recipients — read their stories.

Grantee cohort results

We’re proud to support grantees who are improving the health of our communities. Below are some results of our recent grantee cohorts.

Food insecurity

From March 2016 to March 2018, we supported a cohort of 13 grantees to work on decreasing food insecurity, defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. While food assistance is available in Colorado, the state ranks 45th out of 50 in the country in enrolling eligible families in SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and 43rd out of 50 (according to 2018 data) in SFSP, or Summer Food Service Program, participation. 

Of the 13 grantees, 10 worked to increase enrollment in SNAP and 3 worked to increase participation in SFSP. As a result, 15,266 Colorado families were screened for food insecurity using validated questions. These are 3 key impacts:

  1. All 10 SNAP grantees established new food insecurity screening and enrollment processes. Grantees began providing SNAP application assistance, and conservatively enrolled about 700 families representing about 1,600 adults and children in Colorado during the 2-year grant time frame.
  2. Grantees increased participation in the SFSP. By the end of summer 2017, the 3 SFSP grantees provided almost 93,000 summer meals and expanded the number of sites providing nutritious food for low-income children from 14 to 30.
  3. Grantees were surveyed during the initiative to assess their capacity to work on food insecurity issues. Results indicated that grantees:
    • Added food access goals to their organizations’ goals
    • Increased staff knowledge about food access issues
    • Strengthened engagement in the larger food insecurity/hunger community field
    • Increased their organizations’ leadership in food insecurity/hunger issues
    • Improved data systems and infrastructure to support valid screening for food insecurity

The following summaries detail highlights from this initiative:

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Active Living

Starting in 2016, we supported 4 neighborhood organizations to develop and implement active living plans and to increase the number of individuals who utilize active transportation. The grants will run through 2020. Results from our investment include:

  • More than 576 community partners participated in the development of Active Living Plans
  • 2,286 sites, settings, and routes have been assessed to highlight opportunities or challenges for residents in these communities.

View this short video of how one grantee, Athmar Park Neighborhood Association, is changing how residents overcome transportation barriers.

Other grant collaboration results

  1. Children are our most important resource. The early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for healthy development, school readiness, and future success. Early experiences have an impact on a child’s ability to learn and thrive at home and in school. Shockingly, close to 30% of children by the age of 8 are not on track with their social and emotional development.

    That’s why, in 2015 we joined with 7 Colorado foundations and announced an $11.2 million, 5-year LAUNCH Together grant aimed at promoting the social and emotional health and well-being of Colorado’s children and families.

    When children’s emotional and social development is properly supported, they benefit as adults in terms of greater earning potential. But just as important, the public also realizes cost savings in the form of reduced need for special education, welfare, and decreases in criminal activity. Despite these statistics, only a small fraction of public funding is dedicated to our community's youngest members.

    For the first part of this 5-year process, 7 Colorado communities were each awarded a grant of up to $55,000 for strategic planning. Four of those 7 were selected to receive $2 million each to implement their plans to expand evidence-based prevention and promotion practices and enhance coordinated community systems.

    The privately-funded LAUNCH Together initiative is inspired and informed by the experiences and outcomes of a federal SAMHSA, or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, program which included participation of Colorado’s Weld and Adams counties.

    View the short video. Read the 2018 executive summary report for more details.

  2. Colorado students can breathe easier because we partnered with the Colorado Department of Education to launch a program that helps train school nurses to be better prepared to handle asthmatic episodes. View the short video.

    In 2015, we awarded a 3-year, $509,000 grant to the Colorado Department of Education to develop and provide a series of workshops to school nurses to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to provide better asthma care in schools.

    The grant supported an asthma care pilot program consisting of 15 nurses from 2 Kaiser Permanente Colorado service areas — Southern Colorado and Denver-Boulder. Evaluation of the pilot program showed nurses significantly improved in confidence, skills demonstration, and 4 key school nurse practice areas.

    These impressive results were sustained up to 12 months after the training was completed. After the pilot, requests to offer the training to additional districts and at statewide conferences resulted in more than 100 Colorado nurses receiving the training in just under 3 years.

  3. A 2018 report highlighted the healthiest communities in the U.S. — the top 3 healthiest communities are all in our service area. These include Falls Church, Virginia, and Douglas and Broomfield counties, Colorado. We recognize that where people live, work, and play has a big impact on their health. 

    We’re proud to see that the 65 million people living in communities we serve are among the healthiest in the nation. Our progress is a result of collaboration with community partners and leaders in neighborhoods, schools, health systems, and workplaces to build hands-on programs, change physical environments, advance policy initiatives, and further education.