Nursing Leadership Now On Display


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In November 2016, I had the distinct (and long sought after) honor of meeting alumni of the Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing (KFSN).

Deana Medinas, Clair Lisker, Deloras Jones, and Phyllis Moroney are graduates of KFSN, which was open from 1947-1976, and graduated 1,065 health professionals.

Clair Lisker was a student of Dorothea Daniels, the first administrator of Permanente Foundation Hospital Los Angeles in 1953, and later the administrator of Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. Phyllis Moroney was the first nurse practitioner in California. Deana Medinas became the medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente Hayward.

They didn’t know as much about Kaiser Permanente when they chose KSFN. However, they did know the Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing was ranked the #1  nursing school in California. And then they practiced and later helped build Permanente Medicine.

After our visit, Deloras shared these beautiful Legacy of Kaiser Permanente Nursing video stories, which we knew should also have a home here at the Center for Total Health.

So, on the day that the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine came to the Center for Total Health for a historic dialogue on medical student well-being and resilience, our “Leadership in Nursing” was installed and ready, thanks to the Center for Total Health team.

In the photograph above, you can see the piece being played for the first time to an audience of medical education leaders from across the United States. Marc Klau, MD, Vice Dean of Education and Clinical Integration, is next to the display. Also present are Patrick Courneya, MD, and Ed Ellison, MD.

Most all of us encounter nurses in our life’s journey. I can tell you that physicians like me are trained by nurses in my own journey. To know where you’re going, it’s important to know where you came from. And there, you usually find people who live in the future, too (these nurses were practicing the kind of medicine in the 50’s that we are trying to get to today!) just like the 54,000 nurses who care for, treat and heal 11.8 million members across the care settings and specialties of Kaiser Permanente.

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

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: 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.

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.

A year of tracking on a complete street: The Metropolitan Branch Trail

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Infographic – tracking a complete street – a year of active transportation – center for total health (View on

The Center for Total Health just marked its one year anniversary of population sensing on the street outside our building, 2nd Street, NE, which also happens to be the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

We learned through sensing the trail that it’s very much alive – up to 1,200 people walk it every day!

In 2015, the section of the trail we innovate on also added a Capital Bikeshare station, and became a complete street, when both sides of 2nd Street were completed.

With the help of Washington, D.C.’s Open Data Diplomat, Michael Schade, we created an infographic showing how we can quantify our streets and communities in the 21st Century.

If you’d like to learn more about our program to quantify the trail:  What Exactly IS the Trail Modeling & Assessment Platform, and Why Do We Care?

Feel free to share, and let us know if you have any questions. Active transportation is the future, and it’s the present for us 🙂 .

Joanne Schottinger, MD, at Cancer Care Delivery in a Rapidly Changing Healthcare System

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Left to Right: Carolyn Clancy, MD (U.S Department of Veterans Affairs) Ann Geiger, PhD (National Cancer Institute), Joanne Schottinger, MD (Kaiser Permanente) (View on

Washington, D.C was host to ECRI Institute’s Cancer Care Delivery in a Rapidly Changing Healthcare System, which featured Joanne Schottinger, MD, representing Kaiser Permanente in “How do integrated delivery systems provide cancer care?”

And the answer is…comprehensively, as the data shows, for example: Kaiser Permanente Share | Reducing Disparities in Colon Cancer Through Integrated Care which is part of the larger Complete Care Program: Kaiser Permanente Share | ‘Complete Care’ Improves Patient Outcomes

Schottinger noted that Kaiser Permanente delivers 250,000 chemotherapy treatments per year, 4,000 of which are part of clinical trials. This along with our electronic health record system allows greater insight into caring for patients in real world situations that supplements the latest research-based evidence used to guide care.

Transit, Health, and Gardens, with Greenbuild, American Institute of Architects, and District Department of Transportation

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2015 Greenbuild Tour Bike DC- Transit, Health, and Gardens Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health 00238 (View on

Following on a similar bike tour in September (see: Buildings, Bikes, and Gardens with DesignDC ), the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) hosted this one, as part of the very large Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that was in Washington, DC this year.

In addition to demonstrating the ways that health care contributes to a healthier built environment (who, us?) the following speakers dialogued with the group on work to promote bicycling:

  • Jim Sebastian of @DDOTDC
  • Steve White, director of Fentress Architects and president of AIA DC (@steve_aiadc)
  • Paul Balmer, legislative assistant to Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon on the Congressional Bike Caucus (@PBalms)
  • Caron Whitaker from the Bike League (@CaronWhitaker)

A lot of where this comes together at Kaiser Permanente can be found at our Westside Medical Center, in Hillsborough, Oregon, which is one of the few (less than 60) LEED Gold certified medical centers in the world. You can read more about it here.

Thanks for letting us take part in Greenbuild!

How to mutate your DNA, and how health systems can heal the planet, with American University’s PUBH115 students

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2015.11.16 American University Class PubHealth 115- Why Aren’t We Dead Yet? Role of Public Health in Society at Center for Total Health 00150 (View on

Because we are The Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth), everything health related is in scope. Because we are Kaiser Permanente, healing people and the planet is in scope.

With that in mind we were happy to tour American University’s Professor Lynne Arneson and students in her undergraduate course “PubHealth 115: Why Aren’t We Dead Yet? Role of Public Health in Society

The great thing for total health is that all of these concepts are accessible to everyone in the health system. My colleague Erin Meade (@erinm81) remarked as we prepped for the tour that our endocrine systems are better off without disruption. I agree, so I’m glad we’re doing all the things we are to allow people’s hormones to work as intended.

Kathy Gerwig (@KathyGerwig), our environmental stewardship officer for Kaiser Permanente – wrote this blog post which was perfectly timed for the students’ experience: 10 ways hospitals can heal the planet | OUPblog

Joel Sigler, CSP, HEM, from Kaiser Permanente National Environmental Health & Safety, discussed KP’s efforts to remove harmful chemicals and reduce waste in the Kaiser Permanente System, a good family doctor knows what they don’t know, and invites those who do know to join the conversation…

I’m really glad that we’re able to tell a story about how public health and health care work together to heal people and communities at Kaiser Permanente – it’s something that didn’t seem possible during my medical training, and now it clearly is. One more reason why I love this century :).

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Getting ready to host American University Class PubHealth 115- Why Aren’t We Dead Yet? Role of Public Health in Society at Center for Total Health – with Elena, a parent with a child who has asthma (View on