It was a great October at the Center!

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Here’s what you missed at the Center for Total Health in October

October was a busy month at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. We were proud to host a variety of groups for tours and meetings. We began the month with The American Society of Hematology (ASH) leadership team joining us for their planning meeting, using the Center’s exhibits and healthy meeting policies as a backdrop for productive planning efforts to further their mission. The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a public-private partnership with the sole objective of advancing medical device regulatory science, held their member meeting at the Center, while the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC)  met with contractors supporting health IT infrastructure and systems architecture for the NIH.

The Center welcomed several additional groups to advance their work in a wide variety of health arenas:

As always, Kaiser Permanente hosted several of its own meetings at the Center with key stakeholders and opinion leaders. While Kaiser Permanente International hosted The World Bank and influential representatives from multiple Latin American countries to brainstorm ways to improve their health care systems, other departments across Kaiser Permanente hosted meetings with the Association of Mutual Health Insurance Company (AMHIC) and the Federal Health Benefit Officers to discuss benefits and range of service offerings available to its members.

Throughout October, the Center also welcomed various tour groups including: the Canadian Embassy, George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy Fellows and staff members from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

We closed the month with attendees from the American College of Emergency Medicine conference participating in an evening reception at the Center with Kaiser Permanente staff and physicians. The Center was also proud to serve as a backdrop for a video production on clinical excellence.

If you would like to know more about the above meetings, we would be happy to introduce you to key contacts at any of the participating organizations. At the Center, we take pride in helping make meaningful connections between our guests and advance the initiatives discussed here.

Launching in November: We’ll begin preliminary tours for our new Mental Health and Wellness tour at the Center. If you would like a preview, make sure to schedule a time to see the content currently in development. At the Center, we are working with various departments across Kaiser Permanente to destigmatize mental health issues and promote access to care and other resources.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – feature healthy catering options and can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Meeting

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Lunchtime often provides a crucial moment to refresh during a hectic workday, conference or meeting. But without carefully considering the nutritional value of this midday meal, people can often find themselves in a post-lunch slump, or even tugging at their tightening waist bands as the weeks go by.

Seemingly balanced lunch options can hide a lot of calories. A typical boxed lunch of a turkey sandwich, apple, small bag of potato chips and cookie can stack up to almost 1,400 calories. With national nutritional guidelines recommending approximately 700 calories per meal, eating those extra calories even once a week can add up to gain of more than 10 pounds per year.

Sugary sodas, juices, and other artificially sweetened beverages also play a leading role in sabotaging healthy eating. Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, asserts that Americans drink 46 gallons of soda and sweetened beverages each year, contributing to consumption of 71 pounds of sugar and 85 pounds of corn syrup annually.

Kaiser Permanente has made it easier for its employees, patients, and visitors to enjoy healthier options without the guess work and calorie counting through guidelines containing criteria for making healthier food choices. Established in 2005 by the Healthy Picks Committee – a group of registered dieticians, food service directors, nutritionists and physicians – these guidelines help determine what options are available to hospital patients and in cafeterias. The guidelines also serve as the basis for Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Catered Food Policy, which requires vendors who provide meals for on-site meetings and events to provide healthy food options, like at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health.

The Center for Total Health is committed to partnering with organizations to host healthy meetings that drive focus and creativity by serving nutritious food and incorporating activity into meetings that can otherwise be sedentary affairs. By requiring that caterers who provide food for the Center adhere to the policy’s guidelines, event organizers and attendees are rest assured they’re enjoying healthy and delicious meals during their meetings.

Taking a cue from Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to healthy eating habits, workplaces and employees can work together to get everyone involved in sharing healthy meals:

  • Encourage employees to make water interesting by infusing fruits, vegetables and herbs, like in these healthy drink recipes;
  • Provide healthier on-site beverage options – like sparkling water, tea and coffee – instead of sugary beverages;
  • Plan a Smoothie Social and provide employees with information on the excessive sugars found in many prepared smoothies, and then work together to make healthier smoothies that include unsweetened yogurt as a protein and base, whole fresh fruit instead of juice, lots of nutritious greens like spinach and kale, and add-ins like nuts, spices or herbs; and
  • Host a BYOS (Build Your Own Salad) event and invite employees to bring in their favorite ingredient for a salad bar.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – feature healthy catering options and can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

BUILDing Together for Healthier Communities

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Health is commonly thought of through the lens of health care–the doctor’s office, the emergency room, and the prescriptions. But in reality, much of health is dependent on our environment—our homes; our access to fresh food and transportation; where we work, live, and play. On September 12, the BUILD Health Challenge (BUILD) announced awards to 19 communities that are breaking new ground in their efforts to address the root causes, or upstream factors of health in their own community. Representatives from each community, (including leaders from local community-based organizations, hospitals or health systems, and public health departments) gathered at the Center for Total Health in Washington, DC, the next day to kick off their two-year journey with BUILD.

As BUILD awardees, these communities from across the country are tackling a variety of issues, including: transportation planning, quality of housing, workplace tobacco policies, and more with the goal of improving community health. And core to each community’s efforts is the application of Bold (policy oriented), Upstream, Integrated (multi-sector partnerships), Local (resident engagement), and Data-driven (BUILD) approaches. Funders for this second round of the BUILD Health Challenge have committed resources totaling $8 million to support these endeavors, and each selected community identified local hospital partners that will collectively add more than $5 million in both monetary and in-kind support to the project.

The Center for Total Health was the perfect setting for us all to champion this multi-sector approach. With interactive exhibits showing how health in the community can be improved and made sustainable through a shared commitment to moving resources, attention, and action upstream.

Now in its second round, BUILD is one of the nation’s most promising efforts to improve health in vulnerable neighborhoods. Already the initiative has yielded innovative new cross-sector approaches such as remodeling of homes to improve indoor air quality and control childhood asthma; leveraging data to better understand patient needs and behaviors beyond the clinical setting to promote healthy lifestyles; reimagining food supply and distribution channels in communities to address food insecurity, and more.

While at the Center for Total Health, participants engaged with peers through hands-on workshops, mingled with each other during networking sessions, and made the most of their surroundings throughout the day. The event began with a collaboration session, a chance for the 19 communities to share commonalities, by region and by issue-area, and share learnings. A storytelling workshop followed, challenging community members to craft and share a compelling story that championed and advanced their project’s effort.

The closing keynote featured a conversation between NPR reporter Allison Aubrey and The Kresge Foundation’s Chris Kabel, in which Aubrey shared her insights on the complex role of food and nutrition in communities, along with what it takes to craft a captivating story. The concluding Q&A session allowed the communities to dig deep into her expertise in journalism and learn how to engage their audiences to help amplify their stories and create meaningful change.

We are excited to see what they will BUILD in the years to come! For those who are interested in learning more, visit buildhealthchallenge.org for additional information.

The BUILD Health Challenge is made possible with the support and leadership of: The Advisory Board Company, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, The Kresge Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

 

Here’s what you missed at the Center for Total Health in September

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The status of your health extends far beyond the four walls of a medical center and what most consider traditional “health care.” Events hosted in September at the center highlighted a variety of organizations’ exciting efforts to tackle the bigger picture of health at an individual, community, and even global level.

  • Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO, and Stephen Parodi, MD, EVP of External Affairs, Communications and Brand of the Permanente Federation, hosted the Partnership for Quality Care’s (PQC’s) annual “The Path Forward” event, focusing on the future of health care reform. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sarah Kliff, senior policy correspondent for Vox.com shared their perspective with members of the coalition that represents 50 million patients nationwide.
  • Feeding America and the National Council on Aging co-hosted an event that focused on ways to “Close the Senior SNAP Gap.” Only 41% of eligible seniors nationwide are enrolled and receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and the convening leveraged the human centered innovation design process to involve seniors in designing solutions for programmatic improvements, communications and policy, as well as exploring other innovative opportunities to expand access to this benefit.
  • 100 Million Lives hosted workgroups on “Measuring Wellbeing in Communities” and advancing the implementation of metrics around the landscape of wellbeing across the U.S. Participants worked to identify a measurement approach for population health that could stand alone as a resource or be integrated into existing surveys.
  • The BUILD Health Challenge brought together a new cohort of awardees from 20+ cities across the U.S. to meet with funders, partners and guest speakers for networking and sharing best practices. The BUILD Health Challenge is creating a new norm by putting multi-sector community partnerships at the center of health to reduce health disparities caused by system-based or social inequality.
  • A meeting hosted by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and the Democracy Collaborative, reminded us that supplier diversity is another effective lever to improve community health by growing local economies. The forum included presentations by local medical and educational institutions on best practices in purchasing to stimulate small and minority businesses in the District. Kaiser Permanente is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a group of employers that invest at least $1 billion dollars with minority and woman-owned suppliers in our communities.
  • The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and Mental Health America worked together to define the next generation of behavioral health strategies. This meeting is the first in a series to be held at the Center as Kaiser Permanente launches a public service campaign called “Find Your Words” to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • The San Diego Chamber of Commerce and businesses from across the city converged at the Center to talk about what lies ahead in health care reform and other local issues. That evening, the Association of California Cities-Orange County held a networking reception during their meetings in DC, and we were proud to feature a new display on Kaiser Permanente hospitals and our newly opened San Diego Medical Center.
  • International visitors were also welcomed at the Center in September. Kaiser Permanente’s Coalition of Trade Unions hosted an Argentine delegation with Louise (Lu) Casa, MSN, CRNP, CTTS, a nurse practitioner in adult medicine, and our own Union Ambassador who answered questions about health in the workplace and beyond. American University sponsored a Korean executive delegation interested in learning more about Kaiser Permanente’s electronic health records and digital health approaches.

We want to thank our guests for considering the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health as not only a background for their conversations, but as a partner in helping to facilitate the next phase of their work.

More exciting events are planned for this fall, including our next “Thriving after 60” event, which features educational workshops led by expert physicians, therapists, and health educators, in addition to wellness activities including yoga and meditation sessions, sexual health seminars, massages, and more. This event, planned for November 13, 2017, is open to the public at our medical center next door – learn more and register here.

We also encourage you to check back soon to learn more information about a special tour we will offer on addressing mental health issues in health care.

Lastly, don’t forget to get your flu shot! Free flu vaccinations are available at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts both internal and external educational events; full-day educational programs are also available for a fee through Kaiser Permanente International. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website and follow us on Twitter at @KPTotalHealth. We look forward to hearing from you!

Center for Total Health Welcomes Workgroup on Measuring Wellbeing in Communities

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On September 8, leaders in measurement development convened at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health to launch their workgroup on Measuring Wellbeing in Communities: Advancing Implementation of National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Recommendations. Together with 100 Million Healthier Lives  ,the workgroup brought together thought leaders from academia, the government and medical community to brainstorm and develop a preliminary measure set for measuring wellbeing in the U.S.

100 Million Healthier Lives  is a global community of change makers who are transforming thought and action on improving health, wellbeing, and equity and is a partner of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Soma Stout, MD, MS, executive lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives and vice president at IHI, set the stage by sharing the importance of wellbeing as a lens to understanding health. Matt Stiefel, MPA, MS, from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Population Health and lead of the 100 Million Healthier Lives Metrics Team, discussed why a common measurement of wellbeing was needed. Robert Phillips, co-chair of the Population Health Subcommittee at NCVHS, and Carley Riley, MD, MPP, MHS, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, highlighted results from preliminary studies on measurement of overall wellbeing.

The duration of the meeting focused on identifying ways to build on the current NCVHS framework for measurement of wellbeing, with attendees working together in breakout sessions to identify a process by which these measures could be reviewed, finalized and connected with a second workgroup focusing on implementation of wellbeing metrics.

When asked why it was important to have this workgroup launch with the specific thought leaders in attendance, Dr. Stout explained, “If our country is going to have far better health and life outcomes, we need to change what we measure to focus much more broadly on what creates wellbeing – mental, physical, social and inspirational wellbeing.”

Dr. Stout further elaborated, “As we help people think differently and ground themselves around the concept of wellbeing, we felt it was crucial to invite national leaders from groups all across the country that are beginning to work on this and are providing both federal and nonfederal leadership to come together, create a common vision of what it could look like to measure wellbeing and begin to propose measures and move them into implementation in a way that we can learn what actually creates wellbeing.”

For more information on 100 Million Healthier Lives’ upcoming events, including their Fall Gathering, please click here.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Building Healthy Communities Requires All of Us

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When multiple institutions across varying sectors work in alignment, we will create better health outcomes for everyone

Across California, 15 communities are working to address the biggest health issues in their regions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, community violence, and trauma. They are doing this through an ambitious effort called The California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI).

Kaiser Permanente is a proud partner of this effort because building a healthy community is possible when everyone works together for a common cause.  Unfortunately, too often, health care providers, nonprofits, schools, business and others work in isolation.

The good news is that through CACHI, leaders across California are now working in their local communities on a new comprehensive approach that brings a variety of local players together to improve the health and well-being of their residents. In 2016, Kaiser Permanente teamed up with the state’s leading health funders to launch CACHI and help provide the expertise, infrastructure and resources that communities will need to effectively work together.

To do this, CACHI is utilizing a new model known as the Accountable Communities for Health (ACH). This model requires us to confront outdated, conventional wisdom that doctors and hospitals alone can improve community health outcomes. An ACH is unique because it contains the infrastructure to provide a formal and structured vehicle for strong partnerships. It also establishes a Wellness Fund, designed to attract and weave funding and resources to support the long-term sustainability of the ACH. Furthermore, a key component is Community Engagement. Each of the CACHI communities will engage local residents, so they are involved in shaping this new model of health.

By working together, we can make sure that everyone thrives. We’re excited that an initiative like CACHI is expanding and modernizing the way we think about what a health system is and does. Learn more about these communities and their efforts on the new CACHI website: www.cachi.org.

 

Author Loel Solomon is the vice president of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente

Defining the Next Generation of Behavioral Health Strategies

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Today, one in five American adults experiences a mental health issue, and one in 10 young people experiences a period of major depression. The number of people struggling with conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse disorders (collectively called behavioral health conditions) is staggering, and health care systems are seeking better ways to provide care for those of us affected.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that some populations, such as women and children with low incomes, face unique barriers to accessing behavioral health services. Factors such as poor educational attainment, inadequate housing, barriers to workforce participation, and poor health status can create structural hurdles that prevent individuals from taking the first step to accessing critical services.

These are just some of the daunting challenges that a group of more than 30 experts from various sectors – including leaders from the fields of health and human services, higher education, think tanks, and philanthropic organizations – gathered to discuss at the Center for Total Health on Friday, September 22.

Behavioral Health Leaders Come Together to Find Solutions

The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and Mental Health America, with support from Kaiser Permanente, are leading an effort to identify creative ways to engage and coordinate community assets to transform the delivery of behavioral health supports, with a focus on treating the “whole person,” inclusive of the many factors that impact prevention and access to care. This day-long meeting marked the first in a series of four that will explore innovative ways to address these challenges facing the lowest income families and individuals.

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I was encouraged to see leaders come together to learn from one another and identify opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. Notable speakers such as Don Mordecai, MD, National Leader for Mental Health and Wellness for Kaiser Permanente and Director of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Services for The Permanente Medical Group; Peter Edelman, Faculty Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality; and Patrick Courneya, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for National Health Plan and Hospitals Quality of Kaiser Permanente were among those who shared their unique insights and encouraged thoughtful discussion with attendees.

Throughout the day, participants created a vision for the future of whole-family care, discussed capacities needed at the community level to realize that vision, and brainstormed solutions to identified barriers, including changes at the policy level. A central theme was the need for multi-sectoral collaboration inclusive of finance, accountabilities, and outcomes.

An Important Step Forward, with Miles to Go

While I left the meeting with the reassurance that, by coming together and facilitating this important conversation, we’ve taken a big step in the right direction, I know there’s lots more work to do. Over the next two years we’ll continue to build upon the groundwork we laid today. We’ll constantly refine our strategies, informed by the real-world experiences and the knowledge we’re sharing with one another.

Ultimately, the findings gleaned from these meetings will result in a public report that summarizes our collective thinking on how best to address the daunting behavioral health challenges facing families with low incomes. The conversations I heard and participated in today make me hopeful that we will rise to the challenge and increase access to whole family behavioral health services for current and future generations.

Author Cecilia O. Echeverria, MPP, MPH, is the senior director for Public Policy, Strategy & Operations for Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, Government Relations

 

 

 

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kaiser Permanente Invites You to Thrive After 60

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Earlier this year, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic hosted nearly 1,000 members and non-members for “Thriving After 60 Day” – a day when seniors, their families, and friends discovered ways to be healthy, fit, and active – both physically and mentally.

Participants attended educational workshops led by expert physicians, therapists, and health educators, in addition to wellness activities including yoga and meditation sessions, sexual health seminars, massages, and more. Check out a video of the event and participants here.

The event was so well received that we’re taking “Thriving After 60” on the road!

This fall and winter, Kaiser Permanente is offering a series of free workshops, seminars, and social events – with a healthy twist. These “Thriving After 60” events will take place in many of our medical centers throughout the Washington, D.C. region and provide attendees not only with advice on staying active and maintaining their health, but also with new ways to meet like-minded friends.

The workshops and seminars will include topics like:

  • Life Care Planning
  • Medication Management
  • Nutrition After 60
  • Technology Basics
  • Healthy Aging
  • Mindfulness and Meditation

There will also be a small festival event at the National Zoo on October 7, a free Halloween-themed scavenger hunt at the Maryland Zoo on October 28, and free admission to Cox Farms’ Pumpkin Madness on November 4. Visit the “Thriving After 60” site to register and sign up for updates.

Regardless of age, we can all work toward achieving total health. Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C. explores total health at all ages. The Center’s interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore the many physical, mental, social, and environmental factors that may impact individual health and the health of communities. Stop by the center to “meet” Rosemary and Leo – a couple enjoying their golden years – and explore ways to care for individuals at home, keeping them safe and healthy in an environment where we know they will thrive.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts both internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Physician researchers build bridges to health care innovation

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A new joint program of The Permanente Medical Group and the Division of Research in Northern California encourages Kaiser Permanente clinicians to devote part of their careers to conducting research.

The six physicians in the  inaugural class of the Physician Researcher Program will devote 20 to 40 percent of their time to research projects designed to systematically evaluate and improve clinical care. The physician researchers will then have the opportunity to disseminate and implement the relevant learnings across Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

“We will invest in them becoming researchers, while they remain active in clinical practice the majority of the time,” said Philip Madvig, MD, TPMG associate executive director.

To learn more, go to the Division of Research’s Spotlight blog.

The Importance of Immunizations as Kids Head Back to School

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As the new school year approaches, pediatricians are reminding parents of the crucial role immunizations play in keeping kids healthy.

“Immunizations can help your body develop resistance to specific diseases and increase your immunity to them,” said Karina Maher, MD, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Monica Medical Offices. “It’s very important for the whole family to be up to date on vaccines to protect themselves, their children and the community.”

August is also National Immunization Awareness Month, and Dr. Maher says following the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their child’s health.

Disease can quickly spread among groups of children who are unvaccinated, and the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles and polio.

In fact, the flu causes more deaths each year than any other vaccine-preventable disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some parents are concerned about the impact of vaccines, and are fearful that certain vaccines may play a role in children developing autism.

“There have been a lot of false claims in the news, but thorough studies have found no link between vaccines and autism,” Dr. Maher said. “Immunizations are very safe, even if your child has, or is, recovering from a minor illness such as a cold or ear infection, or even if they have a slight fever.”

To read the full story, check out KP Share for news and views from Kaiser Permanente.