June 14, 2024

Advanced recognition for quality care and equity

Kaiser Permanente receives the inaugural Bree Collaborative Mountain Climber Award for Excellence in Equity.

SEATTLE — Kaiser Permanente Washington has been recognized with the Bree Collaborative Mountain Climber award. This is the second time that Kaiser Permanente Washington has been recognized by the Bree Collaborative in 2024 for its quality care practices.

The Mountain Climber award is given to a select group of organizations that qualify after first having been selected for a Trailblazer award for exemplary implementation efforts that focus on Bree Collaborative pillars of transformation. The Mountain Climber recognition specifically honors health care organizations that excel in their focus on equity, data exchange and transparency, person-centered care, and accountable financing.

Kaiser Permanente Washington was one of two health care organizations in Washington state to receive this advanced honor. Winners are selected by a panel of volunteers from Washington health care organizations who score submissions on key elements, including generalizability of their work, innovation, overcoming barriers, and the breadth of implementation work.

Kaiser Permanente was recognized for its work in primary care, including access to care and coordination of care — all from an equity perspective.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of Bree Collaborative’s inaugural Mountain Climber award,” said Kristin Conn, MD, senior medical director for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity at Kaiser Permanente in Washington. “This award is a testament to the dedication of our providers, staff, and teams across the entire organization. In many ways, this honor highlights Kaiser Permanente’s collaboration — in our care, in our coverage, and in our integrated model.”

“We are especially honored by Bree Collaborative’s intentional focus on equity, inclusion, and diversity. We believe that social needs should be part of all health conversations to truly help our patients achieve good health. Better access to care and improved health outcomes for all our members are important to the work we do at Kaiser Permanente Washington,” said Linda Tolbert, MD, CEO and executive medical director of the Washington Permanente Medical Group

Karie Nicholas, evaluations and measurement manager for the Foundation for Health Care Quality, added, “As part of our efforts to include equity as part of the value equation of health care, the Foundation for Health Care Quality has created this award to celebrate those organizations that are making strides in understanding and addressing health disparities at all points in the process of care, from access through outcomes. Kaiser Permanente has been a leader in transforming its processes to ensure quality care for all patients. Kaiser Permanente’s leadership in equity stands as an exceptional example for all care organizations.”

All health systems that offer services to the Public Employees Benefits Board and the State Employees Benefits Board participate in the Bree Collaborative. The organization was established by the Washington State Legislature in 2011 to give public and private health care stakeholders the opportunity to identify specific ways to improve health care quality, outcomes, and affordability in Washington state.

Kaiser Permanente was recognized at the Bree Collaborative’s celebratory event in May 2024 and will be presenting about its equity work at the Patient Safety Coalition's conference October 2024.

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 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 12.5 million members in 8 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.