March 13, 2015

Permanente physicians tour historic sites

Retired Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources director Tom Debley with physicians at Permanente Creek.

"Rosie the Riveter" docents told about their WWII experiences in the Kaiser Richmond shipyards.

What do you get when you put 60 Kaiser Permanente physicians on a bus and visit two of the most important historic sites in our organization? A barrel full of fun and a head full of facts.

The Permanente Federation was holding a Medicine and Management Program in the S.F. Bay Area, and chose to include Kaiser Permanente history as a key feature of the experience. Doctors from all over the country, led by three historians — Tom Debley, Steve Gilford, and yours truly — visited the site of the Permanente Creek in Cupertino, Calif., where Henry J. and Bess Kaiser enjoyed the sparkling waters and chose it for the name of their long-lasting health plan.

We also went to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park where the Kaiser shipyards provided health care for almost 200,000 workers.

During lunch, retired second-generation Kaiser Permanente physician Dr. David Shearn regaled us with amusing and provocative anecdotes. The National Park staff were gracious and informative, and the event was capped with presentations by genuine WWII Rosies.

Dr. David Shearn recounts stories of KP history
Dr. David Shearn shared Kaiser Permanente lore and advice.