Effective October 9, KP Southern California Region retention rules will apply limits in Microsoft Outlook to your aging emails and calendar entries. Email in your inbox folder will be purged after 90 days, while email in folders outside the inbox, including the Sent and Deleted folders as well as any folders you create, will be retained for 4 years. For more details, and info about how to archive emails; extend the retention period; recover purged emails; and why KP is taking this action, click here.
As COVID-19 surges in California, a partnership will deploy workers to clinical settings, in coordination with local public health departments, to slow the spread.
Kaiser Permanente is committing $63 million to support California’s contact-tracing work in order to reduce the number of Californians who contract COVID-19. This support, in the form of charitable grant funding to the Public Health Institute, will create agile community health teams hired from within communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to support the critical work of local public health departments. This funding will also connect Californians in self-imposed isolation and quarantine with supportive services to assist with food, housing, child care, and other needs. Learn more here.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California members have completed more than 550,000 e-visits since January, 2020, marking a significant growth in patient utilization of virtual tools and visits. E-visits provide treatment or clinical triage to members virtually, using symptom-based questionnaires. Kaiser Permanente members can access E-visits via kp.org or the KP mobile app. This expansion is one of many “silver linings” that resulted when Kaiser Permanente pivoted to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus surge. Read more about that, and learn about the types of e-visits KPSC offers.
As we enter the sixth month of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we want to take a moment to thank and salute the people of Kaiser Permanente who are passionately caring for our members and patients during this historic public health crisis. Never before has the mission of Kaiser Permanente been so tested… read this important message from three of our senior leaders.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, physicians, members, and the communities we serve. Last month, we announced an extension of remote work for all national functions, shared services, and regional employees currently participating in the Temporary Remote Work program. Today we are extending the work-from-home directive through at least December 31, 2020. More on the what, when, why, how here.
8 KPSC hospitals named best in state for overall care
32 KP hospitals identified as “high performing”
Kaiser Permanente hospitals are among the best in the nation for delivering high-quality care, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 “Best Hospitals” rankings. In Southern California, 8 Kaiser Permanente hospitals ranked among the best in the state for overall care: Anaheim, Baldwin Park, Fontana, Irvine, Los Angeles, Ontario, San Diego, and San Diego Zion.
“We’re proud that the U.S. News & World Report places us within the top tier of hospitals nationwide,” said Nancy Gin, MD, executive vice president and chief quality officer for The Permanente Federation and regional medical director of Quality & Clinical Analysis, SCPMG. “During this critical time in health care, our experienced and highly skilled front-line staff, nurses and physicians are committed to ensuring that our patients receive the quality care they deserve to get healthy and stay healthy.” Read the details and see which other KP hospitals across the organization ranked in the top tiers.
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine welcomes its inaugural class
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine opened on July 27, as its inaugural class of 50 students began their journey to become outstanding clinicians and advocates for change within the medical profession and in society.
“All of us at the school are excited to welcome 50 phenomenal students who are compassionate, mission-driven, collaborative, and very smart, and are poised to become the next generation of leaders in medicine,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, founding dean and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.” Learn about it here.
This past week we marked Kaiser Permanente’s 75th anniversary – that’s 75 years of dedicated, compassionate service in adding more healthy years to the lives of our members and communities. Our beginning was founded on a vision that there were better ways to keep people healthy. Today, we’re continuing the advancement of our founding vision for better care outcomes and healthier communities – but we’re taking it to a whole new level with the entry of the first class of 50 medical students at the new Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. The school was founded on the belief that there was a need for change in the way medical education prepares future physicians to address the 21st century health needs of diverse patients, consumers, and communities. Read the complete message from Julie Miller-Phipps and Ed Ellison, MD here.
In 2020, our 75th year, we’re showcasing how our history of innovation prepares us for many more years of delivering high-quality, affordable health care.
UPDATE: The COVID-19 temporary relief benefits have been extended through September 30, 2020.
Employees who need to be away from work because they have received a positive COVID-19 test result may be eligible to receive up to 80 hours of COVID-19 Positive leave hours. The COVID-19 Positive leave hours temporary benefits are now extended through September 30, 2020. If you don’t qualify, you may
use your time off benefits.
After recovering from COVID-19 infection, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson famously donated their convalescent plasma.
People who have recovered from coronavirus produce a specific antibody that can attack the virus. When their plasma is transfused to a person who is ill due to the COVID-19 virus, it may improve the chances of recovery, prevent the viral infection from worsening, or even save the life of the person with the virus.If you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19, here’s how you can be like Tom, and maybe save a life.
The latest statistics are downright alarming:
- At KPSC, our COVID-19 positive inpatient census is higher than the peak we reached in April, and it continues to climb.
- California recorded nearly twice the number of coronavirus cases in June as it did in May.
- Hospitalizations have more than tripled in San Bernardino County and more than doubled in Orange, Riverside and Ventura Counties since Memorial Day.
- In the first 8 days of July, roughly 65% of new infections have been diagnosed among those 18 to 49 (even though only 45% of Californians fall into that age range).
This virus is vicious and stealthy. We may think we have turned a corner, or that we can relax our habits, but the statistics make one thing clear: We cannot let down our guard.
What will it take? Read the message from Julie Miller-Phipps and Ed Ellison, MD.
Keeping watch for PTSD and other mental health issues for clinicians on front lines of COVID-19
The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases are staggering. However, when it comes to the mental and emotional toll inflicted by the novel coronavirus, some of the devastation cannot be quantified.
Over the last several months, the medical community has faced unprecedented challenges. As the pandemic plays out, the expectation is that a range of mental health issues could surface among health care workers. On the severe end of this spectrum are those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. An article in Permanente Medicine looks at this mental health condition, the statitstics, its symptoms, impact on specialties, sources of support and strength, and other related matters. Read more.
COVID-19 is still spreading within many communities. If you’re planning to host or attend a summer gathering, read these 4 tips to help reduce your risk of exposure.
Good news for members, patients, and guests who love the convenience of getting care at your neighborhood Target store. Kaiser Permanente’s existing 26 Target Clinic locations opened on June 29 along with a new location in Norwalk, CA. Steps to ensure the suppression of the coronavirus at each clinic location are in place. KP licensed nurse practitioners and licensed vocational nurses are on hand at the clinics to provide high-quality primary care services in a convenient retail setting. In-person visits will be limited to preventive and wellness care until full care capacity can be returned. Kaiser Permanente opened its first Target clinics in 2014 for members and non-member Target store guests.
Democrats and Republicans agree, wearing a mask isn’t a political statement. It’s about protecting yourself, your family, and your community. California’s current and past 4 governors are reminding us that our actions save lives. Kaiser Permanente has joined in promoting this clever public service announcement, in which the Governors make a bipartisan plea to encourage mask wearing as part of our collective pandemic protection efforts. View on your choice of social media channel:
A special message from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Team
June 19 – Juneteenth – is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth celebrations date back to 1866 and have historically been observed with festivals celebrating African American traditions. Today, Juneteenth is often observed with an emphasis on African American education and achievement.
Celebrate wtih KPAAPA (details below). More information, upcoming Listening Sessions, and other ways to participate and learn here.
Celebrate Juneteenth with KPAAPA: Despite INJUSTICE, We Still THRIVE!
Join the Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association (KPAAPA) to learn about the significance of Juneteenth. Sponsored by a partnership between National Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and Enterprise Learning.
Friday June 19, 2020; 12 -1 pm
Click here to join at the time of the event
(Event will stream live on Teams; use you KP SSO login)
Calls for change and for greater justice for all continue across this country as people of all creeds, colors, beliefs, and backgrounds have taken action to help transform our nation into one that offers greater inclusiveness and equity for all. For the last several days we have heard in great detail about how systemic racism and social injustice have excluded Black Americans, other minorities, and other underrepresented groups of people from attaining not just their potential under the American dream – but simply living. This situation has to change, now.
Kaiser Permanente is committed to an inclusive, diverse workplace that provides an environment of equity for all who work here and for the people and the communities we serve. We continuously strive to improve upon the quality of care we deliver to produce better health outcomes for our members and to build healthier communities. At the same time there is a recognition that this organization cannot reach its full potential as a health care provider if groups of our people and various communities we serve have to live with the unspoken, but lingering fear for their physical and psychological health. And, if any point has been made over the last two weeks, it’s that many of our people, their families and their friends contend with this is reality daily, while there are others of us who have never had to deal with these circumstances and don’t understand how they can even exist.
This is why our organization is embracing the opportunity to listen, learn, and discuss racism, social justice, and racial equity, inclusion, and reflect on what has brought our nation to where it is today.
Please take a few moments to read the full messages from Julie Miller-Phipps and Ed Ellison, MD, and from our National Offices. They discuss Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity and what steps are being taken to put actions behind the recent words. The messages also detail several upcoming opportunities to participate in listening sessions and webinars, and link to an excellent list of curated resources (note: login may be required).
A message from Julie Miller Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals, and Ed Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group:
From the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor to the discrimination faced by Christian Cooper, our society is faced with stark reminders of the frequent injustices we must continue to fight. America must do better, we can all do better, and Kaiser Permanente is committed to addressing the root causes of this painful inequity. This is why we are supporting and personally planning to participate in tomorrow’s “Moment of Solidarity” to recognize the need for greater equity and inclusion:
What: A “Moment of Solidarity,” in which staff and physicians who choose to do may come together to kneel or stand silently for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Participation can be at your desk in your department, with a larger group outside of the facility, or from your remote work location.
When: Friday, June 5, from 12:30 p.m. to 12:49 p.m. FULL DETAILS HERE.
Equality for All
An Important Message From Greg A. Adams, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals. Click here.
Chaos or Community? Bringing the American Dream to All Americans.
A message from Julie Miller-Phipps, President, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals; and Ed Ellison, MD, Executive Medical Director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Click here.
On Saturday, May 30, celebrate “Mental Health for All: A National Day of Hope” by taking a virtual walk to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – and do it your way. “NAMIWalks Your Way” means participants get to make NAMIWalks their own. You can walk a 5K through your neighborhood or on your treadmill, plan a craft day at home or virtually, or do something else meaningful and fun to celebrate the virtual walk day.
NAMIWalks bring together people of all ages and fitness levels to combat stigma, show solidarity, and promote awareness of mental illness. Take photos and videos and share your activity on a favorite social media using these hashtags: #NotAlone; #MentalHealthForAll; #NAMIWalks+tag for your area.
Virtual NAMIWalks are scheduled in Coachella/Palm Desert, and Kern, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego counties, but you can participate from anywhere! Get more info or register for your local walk at https://www.namiwalks.org/.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance, which issues report cards to health care organizations based on measurement, transparency and accountability, has awarded Kaiser Permanente Southern California with its highest status of “Excellent Accreditation.” The 3-year accreditation follows a rigorous and extensive survey of our organization’s Commercial and Medicare operations in the Southern California Region. NCQA Report Cards examine how well doctors, other clinicians, practices, health insurance plans and other national health care organizations perform. More here about this prestigious recognition.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California is one of six of Los Angeles County’s largest nonprofit health systems united in a mission to encourage community members to put health first and access care when needed. The “BetterTogether.Health” educational campaign sends the message that “Life is on pause. Your health isn’t” and urges viewers to “Get care when you need it.” Delaying medical assistance and advice can result in serious and avoidable health consequences.
Getting to a hospital quickly for heart attacks, strokes, and serious illnesses or accidents is critical and saves lives. Those exhibiting serious symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness in one side of the body or severe headache should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, scheduled vaccinations for children are important to help ensure everyone is protected from infectious diseases. The six health systems have joined to let people know they are open and ready to serve the health of the communities they serve. Watch the public service message in English or Spanish, and get more info at LA.BetterTogether.health.
As we recognize National Hospital Week, we honor our people whose expertise, dedication, and compassion elevate our 15 Southern California medical centers into beacons of member care and confidence. We know it’s our people, our culture, and our innovation – consistent hallmarks of KPSC’s excellence – that allow us to bring out our best in the delivery of high-quality, compassionate health care – never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for that, we are deeply grateful. Julie Miller-Phipps and Ed Ellison, MD commend our organization for Activating, Innovating, and Caring in an inspiring message of thanks to those who make it so.
One letter and two numbers have never meant so much to so many, in so short a time. That’s because the letter and numbers are N95. Why is this item of personal protection equipment (PPE) so essential? What is the story behind PPE supplies? Learn about the complexities of the supply chain; how Kaiser Permanente is sourcing and managing PPE during this critical time; and what KPSC is doing to ensure that our future PPE needs are met. This interesting article take a deep dive into this important topic.
Julie Miller-Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Health Plan and Hospitals, presents her view of KP’s effective response to the COVID-19 crisis in an extensive Q & A article appearing in the Los Angeles Business Journal. The article, entitled “A View From The Pandemic’s Front Lines,” ran in the journal’s special healthcare issue. In it, Miller-Phipps addresses other topics related to the pandemic as well as issues affecting the healthcare industry as a whole. Miller-Phipps co-leads Kaiser Permanente’s expansive response to the coronavirus crisis in Southern California along with Ed Ellison, MD, executive medical director and chairman of the board, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. She takes a look back and a look forward in this interesting read. View it here.
“Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.”
– William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida
“Joy is in the doing” is not an uncommon philosophy among those who choose a career in health care. It is certainly the belief of a Kaiser Permanente Southern California physician and nurse who did what so many KP people have done during the COVID-19 crisis: go to where the need is greatest.
For Diego Covarrubias, MD, and Michael Krider, RN, the need was not just great – it was Shakespearean in scope: when it was clear that the worst of COVID-19 was descending on New York City, Covarrubias, a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserve, and Krider a captain in the US Air Force Reserve, did not hesitate. Both volunteered and were in the city within days. Their stories are here.
In honor of our nurses — caregivers, scientists, and researchers serving our members and communities.
Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO expresses his gratitude and appreciation for the 63,000 nurses across the organization in a moving letter, which includes this excerpt: “Against the current backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, your pledge to serve is unwavering as you care for among the sickest patients and protect the health of many others with caring, knowledge, skill, and wisdom.” The letter appears as a full page ad in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other newspapers. See Adams’ letter here.
For almost 20 years, nursing has been named one of the most trusted professions in an annual Gallup poll and these examples explain why. Our nurses understand their job choice is more than a career – it’s a calling, and this global pandemic has made that crystal clear. Because there are so many nurses to recognize, we urge everyone to view the collection of stories that will be posted on Inside KP Southern California throughout the month of May.
During this historic year, we invite the people of Kaiser Permanente to join us in appreciating and thanking our nurses all year long. In the coming days you’ll learn more about your facility’s or area’s activities to recognize these heroes. Our nurses are part of the brain trust and the heart powering the care we deliver every day.
We thank you – our treasured nurses – our leaders, clinicians, researchers, innovators, scientists, and care givers, who are also courageous heroes with the ability to perform under pressure and provide the ultimate calling: true, selfless, compassionate care.
Please join us in thanking our nurses this and every month. Julie and Ed
A look at where we’re at, and where we’re going
In the United States, as in many parts of the world, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve. As cases of COVID-19 rise in some areas, the rate of new infections is starting to flatten. “While we believe that, in many places, the stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements have helped to flatten the curve of this pandemic, we are not yet out of the woods,” said David Witt, MD, national infectious disease leader at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Witt continues to recommend a cautious and calm approach as national, state, and local agencies begin to plan for reopening. Learn about Kaiser Permanente’s response here.
25 Kaiser Permanente hospitals – including 11 in Southern California – are among the nation’s safest at which to receive care, according to the Leapfrog Group’s latest Hospital Safety Grades report.
While nearly two-thirds of Kaiser Permanente’s hospitals are rated A, less than one-third of the nation’s 2,600 hospitals that participated in the study received an A rating. The report utilizes hospital performance data collected by organizations like the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Scores are based on more than 2 dozen measures related to patient care, medication errors, and infection prevention and released to help people make informed health care decisions. More at Leapfrog.
One recent story has broken through the persistent coronavirus news: the NFL draft. During the much-lauded, three-day event, 32 teams chose 255 players, with live-streaming and primetime network coverage. Some welcomed the diversion; others took no notice. After all, it ostensibly bears little relationship to our lives, at home or at KP.
Or does it? Some parallels are as clear as the uprights from 10 yards out. Consider these NFL:KP comparisons…
It’s your constitutional right to be counted! Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, libraries, school lunches, services for and older adults, and other resources. The 2020 Census data will help inform how those dollars are distributed in your community for the next 10 years, and how many congressional representatives California gets. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your answers strictly confidential. It’s not too late to respond to the 2020 Census while being safe at home. Shape your future. Visit my2020census.gov.
I wanted to write something to honor the people behind the scenes – the people who don’t always get the credit that nurses and doctors get. They also put their lives at risk and are always there to support us. — Jun Huang, DO, physician-in-charge, West Covina Medical Office
Dr. Huang’s kind first-person account recognizes those he calls “a different group of heroes, who do their jobs with incredible dedication, perseverance, and care…the heroes whose work enables the work of physicians and nurses; the workers without whom our jobs would be difficult, if not impossible. Read it here.
If you would like to share your reflections of 50-350 words on how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted your work and/or personal life, to be featured on KP publications, please send it to: KPSC-FYI@kp.org.
McDonald’s is offering free Thank You meals to healthcare workers and first responders. Just show your KP badge at participating McDonald’s for a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal, one per day through May 5th (or less – let’s be mindful of our nutrition!). Thanks back, McDonald’s. McDeets here.
Hear a message of thanks and visit a gallery of gratitude for the amazing work happening at KP during the COVID-19 crisis. The message, delivered by Allison Janney, the voice of the Thrive campaign, underscores the extraordinary things you are doing on behalf of our members and patients, and each other. View video on InsideKP Southern California (login required).
New resources for people who are living with or caring for someone with COVID-19. Available in English and Spanish in the Resources section of FYI.
Frontline workers say years of working collaboratively with managers as part of the Labor Management Partnership has better prepared them to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The Partnership has saved money, improved care, and led to better service – and now will literally be saving lives because we are working together. Read the story.
News Flash: watch a 46 year-old woman blow out her birthday candles! If you think that’s not so special, consider that she had just been released from KP Irvine Medical Center…after being sedated and on a ventilator for 11 days during treatment for COVID-19. More about her remarkable recovery and triumphant departure from the hospital here.
We’re proud to partner with Goodwill Southern California to provide more PPE for doctors, nurses and frontline employees throughout Southern California. Goodwill’s Assembly & Fulfillment team is making 300,000 face shields, a win-win project that will help fund the employment services that Goodwill provides and keep their team working during this challenging time.
Recent studies have shown that the novel coronavirus can spread between people in close proximity—for example, through speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) and in areas of significant community-based transmission. Get info about making fabric coverings using t-shirts, bandanas, and other materials here, or watch this video.
The coronavirus pandemic is the largest health challenge ever faced by Kaiser Permanente. But we are confident we can overcome it because of our people; their commitment to improving the health of our members and the communities we serve; and the “flattening the curve” measures we have all been taking. In the coming days and weeks, we expect a medical surge to begin: a significantly increased volume of patients that challenges or exceeds a hospital system’s normal capacity. Thousands of our dedicated people have been working diligently to plan for the surge, and we are now implementing those plans. Ed Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Julie Miller-Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health Plan and Hospitals discuss these plans in this brief video update.
To alleviate costs and stress to impacted members, Kaiser Permanente will eliminate member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 treatment services. “We want our members who need treatment for COVID-19 to be able to focus all their energy on getting well, not on worrying about how to pay for treatment,” said Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. Read more.
This week, Kaiser Permanente began transferring non-COVID-19 patients to the USNS Mercy, the fully staffed and equipped hospital ship now docked in the Port of Los Angeles. Patients are being relocated to the Mercy only in if they voluntarily agree to do so and meet the hospital ship’s clinical criteria, and only after consultation with their physician.
As the number of COVID-19-positive patients grows, this collaboration allows us to use our intensive care units and ventilators for those patients, while ensuring all other non-COVID patients continue to receive high-quality, compassionate care. This is just one of many options we are implementing to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients, and to further strengthen our ability to deliver outstanding medical care. For details, check your Kaiser Permanente email inbox for the 4/5/20 message and video from Ed Ellison, MD and Julie Miller-Phipps.
All Kaiser Permanente Southern California physicians and employees who work in areas where patient care is provided are being supplied with the appropriate PPE. Inventory will be available soon to provide Level 1 “Cover Your Cough” masks to employees who work in an administrative area or regional operations locations where no patient care is provided. Until then, they should follow the CDC’s recommendations and wear a cloth face covering or non-KP issued mask. Get info about making fabric coverings using t-shirts, bandanas, and other materials here, or watch this video.
All Kaiser Permanente members including employees and physicians, now have anytime, anywhere access to the digital mental health app myStrength. According to Don Mordecai, MD, psychiatrist and national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, “Everyone can benefit from caring for their emotional well-being, particularly in times of increased stress and anxiety.” After downloading myStrength and using their kp.org sign-in, users can focus on sleep, mood, mindfulness, resilience, or learn skills to improve emotional health – among many other uses. myStrength is just the newest of many innovative, free self-care tips and tools available in kp.org/wellnessresources.
An email from Dick Daniels, executive vice president and chief information officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, notified employees that cybercriminals have dramatically increased their phishing attempts. These are emails that try to solicit sensitive information through malicious links and attachments. Messages may appear to be handing out federal stimulus payments or tracking COVID-19 cases. They may look like they are coming from official organizations like the IRS, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Do not click on links or attachments that ask for personal or financial information. Do not complete forms to qualify for payments – eligible people will receive checks or deposits directly from the Internal Revenue Service. As always, never give personal, patient, or sensitive Kaiser Permanente information to someone unless you are sure of his or her identity, and certain that they are authorized to obtain that information. To learn more about detecting and reporting phishing, visit kp.org/phishing