Supporting Communities to End an Epidemic

In 2013, Kaiser Permanente announced an initiative to provide support to community organizations whose work it is to improve the health of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV in minority communities disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic.

Seven organizations currently funded by Kaiser Permanente through this initiative are developing innovative approaches to prevent new HIV infections; identifying HIV positive patients sooner, getting them into high quality HIV care sooner and remain in such care.

In light of World AIDS Day, Kyra Nead, senior communications consultant at Kaiser Permanente, sits down with a few representatives of these organizations about the work they are involved in and speaks with Alexandra Caraballo, Manager of Charitable Contributions at Kaiser Permanente about why Kaiser Permanente was interested in creating this initiative.

Check it out below.  The transcript for this recording is available after the jump.

 

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Spreading Health: Reducing heart attacks and strokes with those at highest risk.

What if there were a simple treatment that was proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes?

In truth, this isn’t a “what if” scenario.  This exists right now.

In fact, Kaiser Permanente is furthering its reach to low-income populations with this simple treatment that has been preventing thousands of heart attacks and strokes in diabetic patients.

The organization released a video (posted above) to 55 community clinics across the country to help patients understand the significance of a treatment that could save their lives. The video (also available in Spanish) explains about a program – called “ALL/PHASE” – that includes the use of three low-cost medications to reduce heart attacks and strokes.

Since 2007, more than 60 of Kaiser Permanente’s community partners in California, the Northwest, Mid-Atlantic States and Colorado have implemented ALL/PHASE, improving the health of nearly 100,000 low-income diabetic patients.

To learn more about the benefits of the program and community outreach, we reached out to Kaiser Permanente’s Jim Dudl, MD, diabetes clinical lead, Care Management Institute, and Winston Wong, MD, medical director and community benefit director, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives.

How did Kaiser Permanente’s ALL/PHASE program come about?

Dr. Dudl: “The ALL (Aspirin, Lisinopril, and a lipid-lowering medication) initiative was developed by Kaiser Permanente in 2003 to reduce cardiovascular disease among our diabetic patients over age 50 by prescribing the ALL triad of medications. It was critical to us because heart disease and stroke was – and still is – the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and the world. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 65 percent of those will die from one of those events. But it can be prevented with this very simple and cost effective treatment.

There have a few regional variations to the program over the years to include the promotion of healthy lifestyle changes. Northern California added PHASE (which stands for Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday). In Southern California, we have ALL HEART (Heart Smart Diet, Exercise, Alcohol Limits, Rx Medicine Compliance, and Tobacco Cessation Aspirin Lisinopril and Lipid lowering). Whether it’s ALL/PHASE or ALL HEART, the central component is the same, which is the use of the three medications.

What benefits did this program have on Kaiser Permanente members?

Dr. Dudl:  We found that over a three year period, 70,000  Kaiser Permanente members who took both the Lisinopril and the lipid lowering pills lowered their incidence of heart attacks and strokes by more than 60%. The evaluation also proved that if administered to the entire Kaiser Permanente diabetic population, ALL/PHASE would prevent more than 8,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks and strokes each year.

Based on this great success, we knew we wanted to share ALL/PHASE more broadly.

Why did you reach out to community clinics specifically?

Dr. Wong:  Kaiser Permanente is committed to its partnerships with the institutions that serve on the front lines of health care for the uninsured and underserved. These relationships are critical to fulfilling our mission, which is to provide affordable, high quality healthcare services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We do this by investing in quality improvement and population health and support efforts which will transform care and improve health care access for our most vulnerable populations. Sharing our ALL/PHASE initiative is a perfect example of how we can do that.

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More Dispatches from the Gulf Coast: Building Places for Total Health

Editor’s note: Kyra Nead is a senior communications consultant in Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit organization. Since 2006, the organization has led Kaiser Permanente volunteer teams to the Gulf Coast to repair or replace homes and buildings destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. A team has just arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi. We coaxed Nead into sharing her perspectives on the experience — including how it connects to the total health of Gulf Coast residents. Her first post was on Tuesday.  Here is her second post of the week.

Earlier this week, 30 of the Kaiser Permanente volunteers working in the Gulf Coast gathered into a meeting room to discuss the day’s work.

Remarkably, the energy was still high after more than 8 hours of intense physical work, as was the scent, since several hadn’t gotten their turn to use the dorm showers.

“On Wednesday the true personalities come out, “ warned Jackie Jones, a Gulf Coast volunteer project leader.

Being the grateful communications tag-along for this trip and not a true “volunteer,” I didn’t attend any of the volunteer orientation sessions. What did I miss? What on earth happens on Wednesday?

“I’ll tell you what happens,” Jones said. “The soreness kicks in. Sleeping in a dorm with 10 other people kicks in. And you’ll see how confident the volunteers have become with their work.”

They guard their rice bowl, she says. They want to finish what they’ve come here to do. If you try and pull them off a project to work on something else, chances are they might just bite.

If it wasn’t for her booming voice and knowing she’s been on this Gulf Coast trip seven times before, I’m not sure I would take her seriously. After all she’s decked out in bright pink camouflage pants (and wasn’t that a pink helmet covered in gemstones I saw her wearing earlier?). Besides, these are truly the kindest people I’ve ever met.

But on Wednesday, I was smart enough to arrive at the work site with a bit of wariness.

The morning started off normal enough: the same jokes about the breakfast or who snored the loudest; the same scramble of finding their work gloves, helmets and bandanas.

I cautiously approached the all-female team I’d been working with. The team is led by the fearless Maritza Castro (a lead optical dispenser, at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California). It didn’t take long before

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Total Health in the Gulf Coast: An On-Site Perspective

  Editor’s note: Kyra Nead is a senior communications consultant in Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit organization. Since 2006, the organization has led Kaiser Permanente volunteer teams to the Gulf Coast to repair or replace homes and buildings destroyed by Hurricanes…

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