I Want To Be The Next Summer Intern!

This summer, I interned at the Center for Total Health through the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Summer Internship Program. I am currently a senior at James Madison University majoring in Health Science and with minor in Health Communications.  After graduation in May 2017, I plan on attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Public Health.  My future career goal is to educate disadvantaged populations in the United States about various health topics to help eliminate current health disparities in our country.  The Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Summer Internship Program has tremendously prepared me for success in the future and in an industry-leading healthcare company.

On July 22, 2016, I provided tours to the youth participants of the 2016 DC Summer Youth Employment Program. [Photo By: O Grant]

On July 22, 2016, I provided tours to the youth participants of the 2016 DC Summer Youth Employment Program.
[Photo By: O Grant]

I was given various projects this summer that have honed my skills and knowledge of health.  One project I was given was to provide informative tours of the Center for Total Health to guests.  The tour consists of content exploring topics including Kaiser Permanente’s history, different aspects of total health, and advancements in telemedicine.  Not only have my presentation skills improved, I am now equipped with conversation starters to engage in meaningful dialogues with professionals in health related fields. Another project I was given, also my personal favorite, was the honor to design a display showcasing African-American history throughout Kaiser Permanente.  It will be displayed at a VIP luncheon hosted for top employers and partners of Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, held in September.  Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals demonstrates and embraces diversity in the workplace, therefore the company is a proud financial contributor to the new African-American History Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  To complete the project, I researched the content, contacted Kaiser Permanente diversity committees, and wrote a creative brief for the display.  This project allowed me to take the initiative and utilize the leadership skills I have learned throughout college.

As a participant of the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Summer Internship Program, I also attended weekly professional development forums organized by current Kaiser Permanente employees. The forums were interactive, informative and a key to my professional growth this summer. We discussed resume writing, networking skills, interview tips, professional dress and much more.  In addition to the professional development forums, we attended a Nationals’ baseball game in July and spent an afternoon volunteering with SOME (So Others Might Eat), a community based organization in DC to help poor and homeless residents.

The ten-week program has placed me a step ahead of my peers entering the workforce after graduation in May.  At the conclusion of the program, I have taken away valuable items to place into a portfolio, strong communication skills, confidence in my work ability and strengthened my soft skills in professional office setting.  I am very thankful for this opportunity and appreciate the Center for Total staff for welcoming me on board this summer.  In the future, I would love to work for Kaiser Permanente after completing my education.

If you are interested in being an undergrad intern through the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Summer Internship Program next summer, please visit www.kaiserpermanentejobs.org to learn more!

This Week in Total Health: Sweating the Details

Another busy week has drawn to a close at the Center for Total Health.

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Brendan O’Grady, WELL AP, explains initial readings to Kathy Gerwig, vice president of Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and environmental stewardship officer and Carol Corr, AIA, LEED GA, EDAC, Design Program Manager, National Planning and Design, National Facilities Services

On Monday and Tuesday, the center welcomed Delos (@DelosLiving)for the first step of our WELL Building Standard Certification.  Ted Eytan (@tedeytan) wrote an in-depth summary of the experience.

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Kathy Porter

Our team was thrilled to meet Kathy Porter, who is the face of the original Alexandra persona used by our design teams, and Cathryn Burby from the American Cancer Society this week.

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Cathryn Burby, Senior Director, Community Engagement at the American Cancer Society

August brings heat and humidity to our nation’s capital, making it a notoriously quiet month across the city. Our team is taking advantage of this time to get our ducks in a row for a busy fall. If you’d like to come the Center for Total Health for a tour or event, please let us know!

How do you measure a WELL building? Our Preliminary Audit

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We’ve completed our preliminary audit on the way to full WELL (@WELLCertified) certification.

The WELL Building Standard® is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being.

The audit includes testing of air, sound, light, and water, performed by an objective third party, in this case Delos (@DelosLiving). As most things I have encountered as a physician in the total health space, I learned that there is much more in our environments that can be measured and managed that we are taught about in medical school.

Fortunately though, there are fellow professionals in health, who are working along side us to make all of our work more impactful. You can see from the photos that the work involves applied science and the judgement to understand what is the best environment for the task. Many of the improvements to be made are not costly, all that’s needed is to know what’s needed.

The Preliminary Audit is a stage in the process to full WELL Building Certification. The Center for Total Health is the perfect place, on many levels, to go through the process, with many experts here to help us!

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Left to Right: Brendan O’Grady, WELL AP, Delos; Madeline Evans, WELL AP, LEED Green Associate, Delos; Kathy Gerwig, vice president of Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Stewardship Officer at Kaiser Permanente, and Carol Corr, AIA, LEED GA, EDAC, design program manager, National Planning and Design, National Facilities Services, Kaiser Permanente

Mayor, What Will You Do To Improve My Health?

On July 19,  Smart Growth America (@SmartGrowthUSA) hosted its annual Local Leaders Council (@SGALocalLeaders),meeting at the Center for Total Health.  Attendees included influential leaders from various communities around the nation including mayors, city council members, county officials, city managers and agency heads. The event allowed these influential leaders to incorporate total health into their community and the content at the center provided a perfect backdrop.

Geoffrey Anderson, president of Smart Growth America, started off the event with a warm welcome. Parris Glendening, former governor of Maryland, and Rick Danner, mayor of Greer, South Carolina, both spoke about the excellent solutions Smart Growth America has developed.  The keynote speaker, Amy Liu (@amy_liuw), the vice president and director of Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, touched on growth and planning during her talk, titled  “Economic Development for All”.  Through her work in urban and social planning in challenged economic communities in Philadelphia, she has learned numerous solutions to improving residents overall quality of life by improving the economy in a neighborhood.  As Amy Liu stated, “Better jobs, access to grocery stores and community programs for youth will improve the health of disadvantaged residents.”  It was a pleasure hearing Amy Liu’s solutions and ideas for creating healthier neighborhoods, mainly in metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC, and its surroundings.

Throughout the day, Smart Growth America rotated through different breakout sessions and seminars for guests to discuss and brainstorm solutions.  One such seminar was Creative Placemaking Strategies, giving community leaders tools for success. Another was Revitalization without Displacement, which encouraged leaders to  brainstorm strategies to improve the economy in their community.  Guests also networked with one another over a catered lunch and were invited on a 20 minute guided walking tour with Ted Eytan, MD, (@tedeytan). The event ended with a closing plenary discussion by Peg Moertl, the senior vice president of Community Development Banking of PNC Bank, Sarah Goldfarb, director of Policy and Research of Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, Ken Bowers, planning director in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dean Gordon, director of Business Growth in Birmingham, Alabama.

Once again, the center is glad Smart Growth America held this inspirational annual event at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health.  If you would like to host an event at our center, please visit our website.

Week in Total Health: All About the Future

The week of July 18 was a busy one for the Center for Total Health, with six events in five days, including three for 100 people each.

The week started off with the Smart Growth America Local Leaders Summit (@SGALocalLeaders), a gathering of local officials from cities and towns across the country. The day covered a number of strategies for building health into municipalities of all sizes, from small, rural towns to large, urban cities. True to form, the attendees enjoyed a walk through the neighborhood, including a view of our complete street from the bridge above.

SGA Walk

A health organization team retreat and a school nutrition non-profit training kept us on our toes on Wednesday.

The end of the week was filled by young residents of Washington, DC, participating in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program (@MBSYEP). Over two days, nearly 200 participants came to the CTH to participate in health workshops led by Kaiser Permanente’s  (@KPMidAtlantic) Health Education team on topics ranging from quality ratings to relaxation techniques.

Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden (@DMGEOSnowden) spoke to the students, reminding them that every minute of every day is an opportunity to work toward their goals. It was great to spend two days with the future of this city.

Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden addresses SYEP participants.

Deputy Mayor Snowden addresses SYEP participants

Transgender Health Meet and Greet

In 2013, we hosted a first conversation, the Transgender Health Care Dialogue. In 2016, we hosted our next, Transgender Health Meet and Greet.

A lot has happened in three years, in our society, in the medical profession, and at Kaiser Permanente. The 2016 event included physicians, nurses, and health leaders from Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, and The Southeast Permanente Medical Group.

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They joined with the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia LGBTQ community to meet Drs. Kathy Rumer and Rachel Bluebond-Langner to learn about surgical care for people who are transgender or gender non-conforming – hence “Transgender Health Meet and Greet.”

It’s an honor to participate in the future of care delivery at Kaiser Permanente, an organization that values the diversity and inclusion of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members (and staff).

Total Health definitely includes the doctors, nurses, and health care system that enable people to live as their authentic selves, as members, as caregivers, as leaders in their communities. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This Week in Total Health: It’s All About Care

Another busy week wraps up at the Center for Total Health. We welcomed inspiring visitors and conversations ranging from telehealth to heart health, focused both on our own members and the community at large.

On Wednesday, Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit team hosted a convening for community practitioners to share our ALL/PHASE protocol, which is a  simple, inexpensive, evidence-based regimen of medications that dramatically reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke among diabetics. The ALL/PHASE program was a winner of the 2010 James A. Vohs Award for Quality and is one of the innovative ways Kaiser Permanente shares information and tools to measure disparities and promote equitable care. The attendees also very literally walked the walk of heart health by joining the CTH team for a 30 minute walk before lunch.

Kaiser Permanente's ALL/PHASE Community Convening

Kaiser Permanente’s ALL/PHASE Community Convening

Michael Adcock, FACHE, Administrator at the University of Mississippi Center for TeleHealth, presents to the Connected Health Coalition.

Michael Adcock, FACHE, Administrator of the University of Mississippi Center for TeleHealth.

On Tuesday, the Connected HealthCoalition hosted an in-person meeting featuring a presentation from the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Center for Telehealth (@UMMCTelehealth). Michael Adcock, FACHE, the Administrator of the Center for TeleHealth, shared the amazing work going that organization is leading across the state to increase access for all residents to medical care, health education and public health services through telehealth.

 

We were also honored to host an event focused on the transgender community. The “Transgender Health Meet and Greet,”  included physicians, nurses, and health leaders from Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, and The Southeast Permanente Medical Group. Our physicians and clinicians hosted two surgeons, along with representatives from the LGBTQ community from Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia to talk about surgical care for people who are transgender or gender non-conforming. A full post about that event can be found here.

Interns from the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group

Interns from the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group

Another thrill for the week – to meet the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group’s summer interns. These future health care leaders had great ideas about total health, and enjoyed our newest exhibit – a virtual reality tour of Baltimore.

As always, these are just a few of the pictures from the week. The full set can be found here.

Vision Zero for Who? #MoveEquity chat

What opportunities exist to create safer, more equitable streets and neighborhoods?

How can law enforcement be applied more effectively to improve safety in low-income communities and communities of color?

What about the use of safety cameras to lessen the chance of racial profiling?

Last week, we at Vision Zero Network held a twitter chat,  co-hosted with Safe Routes to School Partnership. Lots of people participated and we got many good ideas. A summary of the chat can be found here.

The Vision Zero Network is committed to helping communities reach their goal of Vision Zero — eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries — while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

The Vision Zero Network is a collaborative campaign aimed at building the momentum and advancing this game-changing shift toward safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Focusing initially on leading-edge cities demonstrating commitment and potential, the Network will bring together local leaders in health, traffic engineering, police enforcement, policy and advocacy to develop and share winning strategies and to support strong, distributed leadership for policies and practices that make Vision Zero a reality.

We believe a strong, successful Vision Zero campaign can set a new standard for safety on our streets — and build toward a nationwide movement that prioritizes safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

You can see how many cities have committed to Vision Zero goals — 18 U.S. cities in just the last 2.5 years– by visiting here.

 

 

National HIV Testing Day

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For National HIV Testing Day, we offer this following post written by community practitioners, advocates, activists and researchers with the Kaiser Permanente Community-Based HIV Test and Treat Initiative. Through the initiative they have found that community-based organizations play a critical role in serving people living with HIV when they are able to link their medical care with social, economic and behavioral support services – the total health of an individual. 

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In July 2015, the White House updated its National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, with a vision to ensure that new infections are rare and all people living with HIV (PLWH) have equal and unfettered access to HIV clinical care. Central to achieving this vision for the country’s 1.2 million PLWH are recommendations for widespread linkage to and retention in comprehensive HIV care, support for HIV medical adherence, and achievement of viral suppression. Unfortunately, racial/ethnic disparities persist in linkage to care, retention in care, and viral suppression. Community-based organizations (CBOs), and particularly AIDS Service Organizations, may be better able to provide more tailored approaches to reach and support socially vulnerable and minority PLWH, but there is little guidance in the national strategy regarding how CBOs can support these goals.

For World AIDS Day 2015, we offer our recommendations for CBOs to achieve these National Strategy goals, as a collective of community practitioners, advocates, activists and researchers with the Kaiser Permanente (KP) Community Based HIV Test and Treat Initiative. The Kaiser Permanente HIV initiative began in 2013 and involves implementation and evaluation of innovative community-based and CBO-led interventions to increase linkage to and retention in HIV care among Black and Hispanic men who have sex with men (MSM) in Los Angeles, CA; African American women and transgender women in Oakland, CA; African Americans in the rural and suburban southeast; and people who use drugs and those recently released from prison in the New York metropolitan area. While outcome evaluation findings are not yet available, our collective experience over the past three years demonstrates the following findings to support more effective CBO interventions:

  1. Community-based organizations (CBOs) can play an instrumental role in reaching PLWH, but require strong relationships with clinics to support linkage to and retention in care.

CBOs connected to racial/ethnic minority or socially vulnerable groups (e.g., prison releases, MSM of color, transgender women) and holistic AIDS services may have better reach to PLWH within these communities, than may non-community-based HIV clinics. Through partnership with CBOs, clinics may extend their reach for linkage and retention in care. CBOs with in-house clinical services and those effectively partnered with clinics appear to be most successful in recruiting and retaining patients who have fallen out of care. Culturally and linguistically tailored services were uniformly identified as central to meeting the needs of these clients.

  1. CBOs can support more effective HIV care by helping clients understand and recall medications and information on clinical indicators, such as CD4 and viral load.

While clinical care and initiation of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) can improve quality and longevity of life, meaningful engagement in HIV care and treatment requires understanding and recall of medication regimens and clinical indicators of health. Many participants reached through this initiative reported recent receipt of CD4 counts and viral load but could not recall the numbers, impeding their use of this information as a means of tracking their health. Low health literacy was also a concern, with participants reporting difficulties reading their medication bottle labels or understanding when to take their medications. CBOs can support patients’ health literacy related to medications and reinforce strategies for recall and interpretation of health indicators following clinical care appointments.

  1. CBOs’ promotion of effective engagement in HIV care for socially vulnerable populations requires support for clients’ linkage to care for key comorbidities, as well.

Vulnerable PLWH commonly present with multiple comorbidities, including substance use and mental health issues, as well as chronic diseases increasingly faced by the nation’s aging HIV-positive population. Linking clients to clinical care broadly, not just HIV care, is critical and may better support more cost-effective funding streams to help sustain CBOs working with PLWH by extending these health support services to vulnerable populations regardless of HIV status.

  1. Life-stabilizing wraparound services and trauma-informed care are needed to support HIV care utilization and medical adherence given the social vulnerabilities faced by PLWH.

HIV care utilization can only be prioritized when their clients’ diverse range of non-medical social needs are simultaneously supported through wrap-around services, including transportation assistance, housing, food security, and group support. A disproportionate burden of abuse histories across the lifespan is also reported among populations served through this initiative, and trauma-informed care and social services have been identified as requirements to support broader HIV and other health care utilization.

  1. Social support as part of palliative care remains an important CBO service for PLWH.

Life-enhancing benefits of ART are not reflected in the health status of our most socially and medically vulnerable PLWH, some of whom learn of their HIV status when they are already at Stage 3 disease progression, rendering a need for complementary palliative care support well into the 3rd decade of the epidemic. Too often social support networks are inadequate for PLWH, and end of life social support from CBO representatives may offer the only non-clinical social support available to these clients. Training and support for CBO staff providing these services is vitally important to help sustain CBO continuity of care.

We offer these recommendations for CBOs to support their capacities to extend the reach of clinical care and link and retain racial/ethnic minority and socially vulnerable PLWH in care, as we believe that elimination of health disparities in care utilization, medical adherence and HIV-related life expectancy requires a community-centered approach best achieved via CBOs. We believe that engagement of CBOs in partnership with HIV clinical care can accelerate the progress of the National HIV Strategy and achieve the Strategy’s vision with regard to “unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

Authors:

Kaiser Permanente, National Community Benefit, Oakland CA

Alexandra Caraballo, National Manager, Philanthropy

John Edmiston, National Manager, Community Engagement

Pamela Schwartz, MPH, Director Program Evaluation

Melissa Ramos, Evaluation Consultant

UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health- UCSD GEH, San Diego CA

Anita Raj, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Global Public Health

Lianne Urada, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Public Health

Laramie Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Public Health

Sankari Ayyaluru, Research Coordinator

John Wesley Community Health (JWCH) Institute, Los Angeles CA

Sergio Avina, Division Director

Christopher Hucks-Ortiz, MPH, Evaluation Specialist

Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), Prince Georges County MD

Bradley Boekeloo, PhD, Evaluator, University of Maryland

Abby Charles, MPH, Senior Program Manager

Public Health Institute (PHI), Oakland CA

Tooru Nemoto, PhD, Research Program Director

Mariko Iwamoto, Project Director

The Fortune Society, Long Island City NY

Nilda Ricard, Director Drop in Center-Health Services, Fortune Society

Brendan O’Connell, MSW, Senior Program Analyst

Jahad Robinson, Transitional Specialist

North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI), Newark NJ

Corey Rosmarin-DeStefano, Director of Clinical Services

Sharif Hall, Data Coordinator

Liliane Windsor, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ASK4Care/Duke University, North Carolina

Beth Stringfield, Project Coordinator

Sara LeGrand, PhD, Assistant Research Professor of Global Health

Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Diseases (WORLD), Oakland CA

Cynthia Carey-Grant, Executive Director

Stephanie Cornwell, MA, Program Services Director

Samantha Feld, MPH, Evaluation Data Manager, Cardea Services, Oakland CA

This Week in Total Health: Building for Health

This week, the Center for Total Health met with people designing for total health, whether it’s designing spaces for public health or for a city that supports its residents and their economic health.

Office of Deputy Mayor For Planning and Economic Development - Business Development & Strategy

Office of DC’s Deputy Mayor For Planning and Economic Development – Business Development & Strategy

Health Design Workshop with Green Health Partnership

Health Design Workshop with Green Health Partnership

Sarah Baldauf from George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health

Sarah Baldauf from George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health

To see all the pictures from this week, check out the full album.