November 27, 2018

More STEM learning access for underrepresented students

Kaiser Permanente teams up with Washington STEM to reach an additional 500,000 students.

REDMOND, Wash. — Kaiser Permanente today announced that it has joined with Washington STEM to support smart, scalable solutions that lead to opportunities for those students most underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields. Washington’s students — particularly students of color, girls and young women, and students from low-income and rural communities — need access to more STEM learning to ensure they have the skills they need to succeed at high-demand careers and continue growing Washington’s economy. Kaiser Permanente’s 2-year, $1.2 million partnership will help fund STEM programs in schools across the state.

“We take pride in joining with Washington STEM to support direct efforts creating equal access to education pathways that will help more than half a million students prepare for the jobs of the future,” said Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington.  “A prescription for health includes access to education and career-track jobs, both of which are as critical to the health of a community as exercise, healthy eating and staying active.”

The new investment will build on active partnerships with Washington STEM’s regional networks and dozens of school systems throughout the regions, including the largest systems in the state — Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma.

Kaiser Permanente’s investment in Washington STEM programs will fund an expansion of existing programs in schools throughout the state. The two organizations are supporting smarter, sustainable solutions and look forward to achieving a greater impact together.

“Through our partnership with Kaiser Permanente, we’ll be able to accelerate and expand our impact across the state. Kaiser Permanente shares our belief that our health care and other fast-growing industries will be even more innovative when their workforces reflect the diversity of Washington state,” said Caroline King, CEO of Washington STEM. “It starts with ensuring our earliest learners have fun with math and moves to supporting students year over year to be inspired and prepared to lead in the game-changing STEM careers of today and tomorrow.”

The partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Washington STEM will have real, on-the-ground near-term impacts:

  • Tracking 641 more students to earn credentials and be ready to thrive in STEM careers by age 26.
  • Serving an additional 16,028 children ages 0-8 in Early STEM.
  • Equipping more than 600 additional early educators and parents/family members to support early math learning, especially for children of color and children from low-income communities.
  • Exposing 500,000 students across 45 local school districts in King, Snohomish, Spokane and Pierce counties to high-demand career pathways.

“It is imperative that our schools provide every student with a well-rounded education that affords her or him many options for a successful future,” said Damien Pattenaude, Ed.D, superintendent of Renton School District and Washington STEM board member.  “There are many pathways for success for our students who enter STEM fields. With partners like Washington STEM and Kaiser Permanente, we can continue to ensure there is equity in preparing every student for access and opportunity in choosing those pathways.”

About Washington STEM

Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. For more information, go to

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington are committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit 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 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical 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. For more information, go to: