Anniversaries offer an opportunity to reflect on the past and anticipate the future. It is at such times that history helps an organization take a deep breath and focus again on its purpose and direction.
In 1982, two of the original Permanente Foundation hospitals — Oakland and Richmond — embarked on a campaign to celebrate "Caring and growing since 1942." In addition to a special issue of the employee magazine KP Reporter, the hospitals produced a short video that swept from the World War II Kaiser shipyard health plan to the hugely expanded Oakland medical center, and beyond.
The Oakland Hospital opened August 1, 1942, with 70 beds. The Richmond Field Hospital, closer to the shipyards but with only 10 beds, opened August 10, 1942.
The video includes footage of wartime President Franklin D. Roosevelt chatting with Henry J. Kaiser at a ship launching, and founding physician Sidney R. Garfield, MD, describing the goals of this remarkable health plan.