Why You Should Reflect on Your Health This September

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When was the last time you reflected on your total health journey? From your childhood experiences to your future in old age, what phase of life are you in and how do you envision your health moving forward?

At the Center for Total Health, we believe that having a dialogue about your health is critical, which is why we’re encouraged by the following health-related observances in September and the wisdom they provide us. Along with each observance, we’ve provided questions for reflection and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Fruits and Veggies—More Matters and Childhood Obesity

Whether it’s through physical movement or eating more fruits and vegetables, teaching children and adults the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle has the power to end childhood obesity and create a positive ripple effect from the local to the national level.

We observe Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month and Childhood Obesity Month in September to spread awareness about how people can live healthier lives. In alignment with this mission, CTH showcases work being done across the country to make this goal a reality. Through our immersive exhibits we display change in action —like the implementation of the “Let’s Move! Active Schools” campaign in Miami, featured on our Health Discovery Wall. Our interactive map highlights the locations in Miami that have increased physical activity in schools, showcasing how individual or local change can make a difference.

Health Reflection: What foods and exercise currently support your total health – physically, mentally and emotionally?

Healthy Aging and World Alzheimer’s

Life can be challenging for Leo and Rosemary – two elderly personas featured at CTH. Leo shows signs of cognitive impairment and Rosemary, his wife and caregiver, has to ensure that he takes his medication and goes to his appointments, while also having to care for her own emotional health. With Rosemary’s help, Leo is aging in place, able to live in the comfort of his own home and community.

The month of September provides us the opportunity to address both the challenges as well as the positive aspects of growing older by observing both World Alzheimer’s Month and Healthy Aging Month. These observances touch on a delicate, yet immensely important phase of life – how we age and the responsibilities that come with growing older. We’re reminded to be more intentional with our actions and how they can affect our health later in life.

Health Reflection: In our busy, every day lives how often do we pause to think about how we’d like to age? What are we doing (or not doing) now that could help us age in a stronger, healthier way?

Regardless of age, we can all benefit from discussing what these observances mean for us, our family members and our community.

What’s one way to start prioritizing your health and the health of your friends, family or colleagues? By visiting and hosting a meeting or event at the Center for Total Health. You can find more information here.

I Want To Be The Next Summer Intern!

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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

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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!

Mayor, What Will You Do To Improve My Health?

By | Center for Total Health, Healthy Communities | No Comments

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

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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

By | Care Delivery, Center for Total Health | No Comments

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

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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.

This Week in Total Health: Building for Health

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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.

Better Together Health, with Council of Accountable Physician Practices

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KPCTH -2016.06.15 Better Together Health with Council of Accountable Physician Practices 00603

Innovations in chronic care were featured in the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) event at the Center for Total Health on June 15.

Hosted by The Permanente Medical Group Executive Director and CEO Robert Pearl, MD, the event was keynoted by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee’s Chronic Care Working Group. A lively panel discussion moderated by Ceci Connolly, President and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), included patient stories that highlight the importance of care coordination and patient engagement in managing chronic conditions. Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s “complete care” diabetes program was featured through a member video and a description from Dr. Marc Klau, SCPMG Assistant Regional Medical Director for Education, Learning and Leadership. Tim Gronninger of CMS also gave remarks and joined the panel for questions.

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The Council of Accountable Physician Practices also released its second annual poll of patients and physicians, which measures patient expectations, use of technology enabled care, and the pace of progress in bring “high tech, high touch” care to patients while making it easy for physicians and the care team to provide.

Two Weeks in Total Health: We’ve Been Busy!

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The week of May 16 kicked off with a two-day Ragan Public Relations (@RaganComms) Measurement Summit. One of the most important tasks we have as a health organization is communicating with our patients, providers, employees, and suppliers about health, and there was much to learn from colleagues from all types of companies — from AARP to NASCAR.

On Wednesday, May 18, Health Affairs (@Health_Affairs) hosted The Future of Individual and Small Group Markets, a forum on the sustainability of these markets and potential changes to market regulations. Kaiser Permanente’s own Kitty Guptill, senior vice president, strategic market planning, participated in the event as an expert.

Kitty Guptill, Senior Vice President, Strategic Market Planning at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, presents during the Health Affairs Forum

Kitty Guptill, senior vice president, strategic market planning at Kaiser Permanente, presents during the Health Affairs Forum on the Future of Individual and Small Group Markets on May 18, 2016.

 
See photos of the rest of the week here.

The week Of May 23 started with a roundtable meeting of industry experts hosted by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (@NCQA). NCQA convenes this group representing companies that have a stake in its work as an evaluator of health plan and clinical quality throughout the year.

NCQA Industry Council

NCQA Industry Council Members

The rest of the week has been dedicated to much-needed technology and facility maintenance projects. Though it might seem like a light week, these projects have kept us quite busy.