As the largest private employer in California and the health care and coverage provider to more than 9 million members in the state, Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve individual and community health. One of the many ways we deliver on that mission is through addressing health care disparities, in part by making sure that members of underrepresented communities see themselves reflected in the diverse makeup of care teams, physicians, and our leadership. This builds trust and mutual respect, and leads to better health outcomes.
Critical to delivering equitable and culturally competent care is our ability to hire and retain health care professionals educated and trained in diverse environments. Our support of the Proposition 16 effort is intended to help ensure that California’s public universities are accessible to a future health care workforce that is as diverse as the communities we serve. By directly addressing discrimination and underrepresentation, affirmative action can create equal opportunity.
We also know that health disparities, chronic illness, and shorter life spans are often endured by people suffering from social inequities. Proposition 16 represents one of the many opportunities Californians and their elected leaders have to take bold, overdue steps to reverse decades of systemic racism and discrimination.