This Week in Total Health: Keeping it in the KP Family

This week, the Center for Total Health team got to spend time with hundreds of our Kaiser Permanente colleagues. The week began with training sessions for DC and Maryland area Ambulatory Surgery physicians, nurses, clinicians, and staff. It was a thrill to get to spend some time with these incredible people.

We also welcomed colleagues from Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Institute, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy. These groups reminded us of the incredible, diverse, and passionate people working to serve our members every day.


Colleagues from Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Institute & Kaiser Permanente Ventures visit the CTH Farmers Market


This Week in Total Health: Championing the Future

As we tend to do, we hosted leaders who look ahead. The Accelerated Leadership Development Program came to the Center to see how the Washington, DC environment impacts their work in health, with an additional special guest Armond Kinsey, who’s the Director of Diversity, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States.

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This week was also the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting 2016, held in Washington, DC, which brought additional champions of the future our way, including Priya Radhakrishnan, MD, from the Practice Innovation Institute, in Phoenix, Arizona. Always here to learn and to teach.

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See all of the photos from this week here.

CEO Roundtable Policy Summit 2016


On April 29, the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosted a policy summit convened by the American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable. The CEO Roundtable represents 26 CEOs, including Bernard J. Tyson, from some of America’s largest corporations and organizations that have joined together to create and sustain a culture of health and well-being in the workplace by collaborating on best practices and measurable new strategies for employee engagement. Together through the AHA’s CEO Roundtable, these CEOs are leading by example to collectively engage their nearly eight million employees and family members, along with countless other community members, to improve health by making simple behavior changes that produce significant results.

Attendees at the CEO Roundtable Policy Summit


While many companies offer workplace health programs, program quality and outcomes data vary, so there are unanswered questions about the most cost-effective strategies to improve employee health and well-being. Technological advances in “big data” are opening new frontiers in generating deeper insights about what works and why. That’s why the CEO Roundtable was developed as a leadership collaborative dedicated to evidence-based approaches to workplace health and employee engagement.

The policy summit focused on issues critical to improving the health of our Nation’s workforce. Discussion included the policy implication of current wellness related tax issues and legislation, effective incentive design, the role of workplace culture and leadership, developing and promoting best practices for data privacy.

The summit included national thought leaders Judith Feder and Kevin Hassett to discuss policy and the political landscape for employer sponsored healthcare for 2016 and beyond. Judith Feder is an Urban Institute fellow, a professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, was dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally recognized leader in health policy, she has made her mark on the nation’s health insurance system through both scholarship and public service. Kevin Hassett is the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Before joining AEI, Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia (University) Business School. He served as a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

Shane Doucet, Principal from Williams and Jensen, moderated the day’s conversation. Over the last 15 years, Shane has represented clients in a variety of areas including health care, public pensions, law enforcement, and high-tech. Shane has also moderated panels comprised of top union, business and trade association representatives on the impact of health reform and has been a featured speaker for over 250 CFOs on health and wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

For more information on the American Heart Association’s workplace health solutions, visit

This Week in Total Health

This week, the Center hosted a three day private board meeting, so we’re a little light on photos. Behind the scenes, though, it was an exciting an active week.

We did have an amazing visit from Leadership America – Leadership Women (@LeadershipAmer), a great organization connecting women in leadership roles across states, ages, and industries. Talk about innovation!

Leadership America

Leadership America Visits CTH

Community Catalyst (@HealthPolicyHub) also visited to learn about the center as they consider an consumer-facing center of their own. Such an exciting time and so glad to be helpful to others beginning this journey.

Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst

To see or download photos from this week, visit our Flickr page.

This Week in Total Health: The End of an Era

As another busy week comes to a close at the Center for Total Health, our team would like to first take a moment to thank Yen Greene (@YenGreene), who has been with us for almost five years, for all of her hard work and dedication. She’s a remarkable person and colleague, and though she isn’t going far, she will be missed. Our loss is Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atantic’s gain.

On Thursday, the Center for Health Design hosted Health Design Insights, an evening for health care architects and designers. The featured speakers were Jeff Shub, MD, of GapingVoid (@gapingvoid); Patrick Schultz, AIA, EDAC, LEED, AP, of HKS Architects (@HKSArchitects); and Barbara Huelat, FASID, AAID, EDAC, of Huelat Davis (@HuelatDavis). As always, it’s inspiring to witness a group of people dedicating their incredible talents and intelligence to the health of others.

Center for Health Design - Health Design Insights

Center for Health Design – Health Design Insights

As those who have been to the center might know, we installed a pedestrian counter outside along the Metropolitan Branch Trail to track pedestrian traffic as part of a network of counters across Washington, DC. (Learn more about that project here.) This week, the counter got a new battery (thank you, Tracy Hadden Loh!).

New battery for the EcoCounter pedestrian counter

New battery for the EcoCounter pedestrian counter

Find all of this week’s pictures here. And, for posterity, some of our favorite pictures of Yen over the years. Thanks for all the laughs, Yen!


Even in Health, Money Talks

Last November, the  Center for Total Health commissioned a survey exploring the factors that comprise total health, as well as the barriers to achieving it. Responses from over 1,200 people of all ages and demographics made clear that stress and finances are the key factors impacting total health.

An individual’s financial situation ranked third with our respondents, behind physical and mental health, as a contributor to theirsmall infograph total health. In fact, 75 percent of survey respondents said that their financial situation is “very important” to their total health. Moreover, they believe that an improved financial situation would reduce their stress and improve their access to medical care.

In addition, respondents list stress as one of the main barriers to total health. Over 40 percent list stress from family or work as a hinderance to their total health. More than 40 percent of respondents thought that insurance-provided  stress management programs would be a key to managing stress.

For more details about the report, click here.

Kaiser Permanente also provides resources on stress at

Five Years of Total Health

On Monday, the Center for Total Health celebrated its 5th birthday. So much has happened over these years.

A quick poll of the team unanimously named the original Kaiser Shipyard “Rosies” as the most memorable visitors of our first five years. These incredible pioneers stopped by a couple years ago and regaled us with stories of working for Henry J. Kaiser (“great boss”), full lives (houses rented to The Mamas & The Papas, great loves, amazing travels), and changing times and technology. Our team makes sure to laugh every day, but it’s fair to say the two hours we spent with the Rosies were among the most joyful and warm of these five years.

Original Kaiser Shipyard Rosies with the Kaiser Permanente team

Original Kaiser Shipyard Rosies with the Kaiser Permanente team

We’ve had so many great meetings, events, and tours that it was hard to pick just a few to highlight. After much debate, a few prevailed as very memorable. They included:

Our team remains excited by the breadth and depth of conversations happening here. There are so many wonderful people we’ve met and events we’ve hosted that we could never list them all. If you have favorites, please share them in the comments! Our whole team thanks everyone who made this total health journey possible. Here’s to the next #CTHFive!

Thanks for five great years! (Don't worry, the cupcakes are small and met Health Picks criteria!).

Thanks for five great years! (Don’t worry, the cupcakes are small and met Health Picks criteria!).

Special thanks to the team that helped get the doors open in 2011: Holly Potter, Sean Chai, Danielle Cass, Trish Doherty, Eric Saltmarsh, Wendy Lee, Diane Gage-Lofgren, Faye Shahai, and countless others. Your hard work and long hours haven’t been forgotten.

This Week in Total Health: The Many Faces of Innovation

It can be easy to think of innovation as technology and gadgets, but this week we witnessed a lot of human innovation. Guests this week included our Employer Innovation Council and Labor Management Partnership (@LMPTalk), both incredibly innovative groups that drive our organization to be its best.


Labor Management Partnership Regional Co-Leads (Day 1)


Labor Management Partnership Regional Co-Leads (Day 2)

As always, the Center’s Healthy Picks approved menus fueled days of hard work and collaboration for attendees. Seeing people enjoy tasty, healthy food never gets old for our team – it’s one of our tiny innovations. 🙂

Lunch is served

Lunch is served

To see all of the photos from this week at the Center for Total Health, please click here.

This Week in Total Health: Service

This had to be the photo for This Week in Total Health.

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It’s of the Diversity and Inclusion and Culturally Responsive Care team from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and Southern California Permanente Medical Group, who came by to see their Center for Total Health while they were in Washington, D.C for the 9th Annual Health Disparities Conference.

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They support 6,500 physicians serving almost 4 million members who represent up to 300 ethnicities cared for at Kaiser Permanente.

My other favorite photo is of one of the Center’s most treasured colleagues, Jan Ground, who is the director of Virtual Care for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group. She brought her parents to see the Center for Total Health.

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The photograph includes our favorite things: innovation (virtual care), Jan Ground and the Colorado region, and family, all in one image.

These are the things that power Total Health.

This Week in Total Health: In Motion

The visitors to the Center for Total Health this week came from the future, to move health ahead farther, faster together.

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Family Physician James Huang, MD, from Unity Health Care is working to support greater access to bicycle sharing for Washington, DC’s residents.

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The people who power the Alliance of Community Health Plans were here with us, and specifically here with Rosemary, welcoming ACHP’s new president and CEO, Ceci Connolly.

And since I’m guest blogging while Erin takes a well-deserved thrive break, I selected this photo as well:

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Keith Montgomery and Erin Meade – the people who power the Center of Total Health – are taking delivery of new pieces of furniture which will help our guests stay active and powered as they contemplate Total Health.

Intention, Enthusiasm, Design, to keep people moving and healthy.