Kaiser Permanente is committed to building partnerships with community institutions that play a critical role in delivering health care for the uninsured and underserved, often referred to as the health care “safety net.”
Partnering with safety-net providers lets us collaboratively hone our strategies to improve care for patients who face barriers in accessing quality health care. Together with community health centers, public health departments, and community-based health organizations, we are developing innovative ways to engage hard-to-reach populations, provide care to non-English speaking patients, proactively connect patients to social and financial support systems, and develop and train new leaders in health care performance improvement in our communities.
Community-supported clinics throughout our region provide vital services, delivering care to members of our local community who, because of a lack of resources, might not otherwise be able to access care. These clinics provide a variety of primary care services, often through physician and nurse volunteers at evening clinics, and serve very low-income and uninsured people. While each clinic is unique, they all have one thing in common — they exist because of the support they get from the local community.
We partner with community clinics to increase their capacity to serve more people and strengthen their sustainability so that they can continue their work for the long term. This includes developing innovative ways to improve data collection, increase financial sustainability and provide more culturally responsive care.
Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with Providence Health & Services, Legacy Health and PeaceHealth on the Health Systems Access to Care Fund. Collectively these four health systems have agreed to fund community supported clinics and provide technical assistance to clinics in our shared service areas. The Health Systems Access to Care Fund is located at Oregon Community Foundation.
Community health workers serve an integral role in providing culturally specific services and improving the overall health of communities. They work in collaboration with health care and social service providers to better serve the health needs of individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities.
Kaiser Permanente Northwest is leading the way in developing new models of care that integrate community health workers into community and clinical settings. We collaborate closely with the Oregon Community Health Workers Association, Familias en Acción and other local partners to strengthen the community health worker workforce and infrastructure.
Learn about one example of our work, the Warriors of Wellness project:
The need for innovative leaders trained in health system transformation and performance improvement has never been greater.
Kaiser Permanente Northwest provides scholarships and training support for safety net clinicians and leaders so that they can better access opportunities for networking, collaboration, and innovation. Leadership development opportunities include quality improvement seminars, forums and summits as well as attendance at national and regional conferences on oral health, safety-net innovation, school-based health centers and migrant and community health.
School-Based Health Centers provide comprehensive health services to young people in a trusted and familiar environment — their schools. These centers can be a one-stop location for primary care, mental health, oral health and health prevention services.
As part of our Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools initiative, we are actively developing new school-based health centers with partner schools while also expanding mental health services within existing school clinics.
Learn more about the role of school-based health centers on our Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools website.