January 18, 2016

Northwest employees volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr Day

'Everybody can be great … because anyone can serve.' — Martin Luther King Jr.

PORTLAND, Ore. — For the 12th consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente Northwest employees are honoring Dr. King's commitment to community service by rolling up their sleeves and volunteering. Hundreds of Kaiser Permanente employees, clinicians and dentists are fanning out across Northwest communities to make an impact, with a focus on serving the most vulnerable individuals, including children and the uninsured.

New this year, Kaiser Permanente optometry providers, in coordination with our safety net clinic partners, will provide free eye exams and eyeglasses to safety net patients at six Kaiser Permanente Vision Essentials clinics. Locations include Beaverton, Longview, Portland, Salem and Vancouver.

Two volunteers taping the window so the moisture barrier is maintained.

More than 800 employees, friends and family members are volunteering at 37 sites from Longview to Salem, Hillsboro to Gresham. They will package meals for the hungry, organize children's book donations and plant hundreds of trees.

"As our signature service event, MLK Days of Service underscores Kaiser Permanente's long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Frank Hurtarte, vice president, Human Resources. "During these special days, our employees embody the spirit of Dr. King by volunteering with food banks, book banks, youth organizations and more."

Woman hammering a plastic tab onto an a wall
Kaiser Permanente Northwest volunteer working on new home with Habitat for Humanity.

As part of the service event, Kaiser Permanente is supporting six safety net partnership clinics with awards of $8,000 each and donated services by 32 physicians. The funds will help the clinics expand access and deliver high quality health care to vulnerable populations, including the uninsured.

"Many people in our community need help getting care, and the needs of our community are diverse," said Colin Cave, MD, lead physician, Community Benefit. "That's why we're excited to have our physicians partner with safety net clinics to provide free medical care during MLK Days of Service."

For photos and updates from Kaiser Permanente's MLK Days of Service, visit us at our Twitter handle @KPNorthwest and on Facebook at Kaiser Permanente Thrive.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including more than 520,000 medical and 240,000 dental members in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, dentists, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical and dental teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.