August 28, 2012

Kaiser Permanente's long history of "culturally competent care"

Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources has started a regular column in the labor-management partnership publication Hank about the rich labor history of the organization.

The Summer 2012 issue includes a story about how Bay Area longshore workers participated in a groundbreaking medical program — the Multiphasic Screening Examination, the first comprehensive health assessment conducted in cooperation with a union, way back in 1951. One aspect of this relationship was understanding that good medical care requires knowing about a patient's living and working conditions. Even after a remarkable record of offering health care for workers in the shipyards during World War II, further physician education was called for.

Recognizing traditional medical services were not well attuned to the health needs of working people, the ILWU newsletter The Dispatch noted “Local 10 is going to put five Permanente doctors through a course of indoctrination on the waterfront, so that they will learn first-hand the conditions under which longshoremen work and will be better able to interpret the tests.”

Read the whole story at http://www.lmpartnership.org/stories-videos/longshore-start-total-health