Local and National Diversity Programs
At Kaiser Permanente, we value the rich diversity of our organization and always aspire to demonstrate respect for the uniqueness of each individual. We encourage an open, inclusive environment that supports and empowers our employees.
Learn about the programs that are helping us build on our culture of respect:
Colorado Diversity Program
Some of Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s diversity characteristics and accomplishments are listed below:
Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Diversity Development Department, in collaboration with the recently reorganized Regional Diversity Steering Council, has developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Diversity that will guide our diversity priorities in the coming years. Included are efforts to:
- Provide care and service to our patients and members in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner for the purpose of affecting the elimination of health disparities
- Create a diverse workforce that mirrors the populations that we serve, while furthering the development of linguistic and cultural competence of each person within the region
- Fulfill applicable diversity requirements and guidelines, including mandatory and voluntary governmental regulations and/or accrediting body standards
- Grow our membership through effective market segmentation approaches that target specific populations which are the fastest growing segments of our society
- Improve the health of and enhance our ties to the communities we serve
The region’s award-winning Language Resource Center has made significant strides to provide interpretation and translation services to the region, helping to close the linguistic and cultural gap that many of our limited English proficient patients and members experience. Forthcoming is the development of a Linguistic and Cultural Institute, which will further advance the region’s linguistic and cultural competence.
The Latino Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Care continues to focus on culturally informed clinical practices to help reduce health disparities among the Latino population, sharing best practices with the region and program.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado boasts the community and company outreach efforts of our diversity councils, and multicultural associations. To date, there are 12 established facility diversity councils, the Regional Diversity Steering Council, and seven associations representing the following populations:
- Asian / Pacific Islander
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex
- Persons with Disabilities
To support our diversity and cultural competence efforts, we offer training and educational opportunities to our employees and physicians. Included is a core, foundational, diversity training called “Let’s Talk Diversity”. For our providers, we offer “Cultural Competence in the Clinical Setting”. On a quarterly basis, the region gathers for Regional Diversity Forums; and annually the organization sponsors the National Diversity Conference, which celebrated its 27th anniversary in 2004.
To address the lack of people of color in medical professions, KP Colorado supports a “pipeline” of talented interns from INROADS / Colorado and Aruppe Jesuit High School.
In 2004, KP Colorado was honored with the R.J. Erickson Diversity Achievement Award for implemented a Protégé of Color Executive Mentoring Program. The program was the region’s innovative approach to address the shortage of people of color in management positions and positions of influence. Senior leadership served in the roles of mentors, and the protégés helped to raise the cultural awareness of the leaders. The program spanned 18 months. The first group had extraordinary success by the completion of the program. 16 Protégés of Color were chosen, 11 of which broadened the scope of their jobs, and of the 11, eight eventually received promotions. The program is now in the midst of the second round of Protégés of Color, with an expanded number of participants.
These represent a sampling of the many diversity initiatives underway in the region, and are a source of considerable organizational pride as we continually seek ways to create a more inclusive workplace and clinical environments for our work force and members.
This year, you will see the launch of additional innovative diversity and culturally competent care initiatives, and strategic business alignment of our diversity efforts led by the Regional Diversity Steering Council, Diversity Development Department, Language Resource Center, Latino Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Care, Facility Diversity Councils and Multicultural Associations. These efforts will extend Kaiser Permanente’s leadership in diversity , and Cultural Competence throughout the health care industry and positively differentiate us in the market place.
National Diversity Program
The National Diversity Program is our program wide effort to advance our National Diversity Agenda. The development of Diversity Program initiatives is the shared responsibility of the National Diversity Council, the National Diversity Department, regional and local diversity councils and departments, and regional and local multicultural staff associations.
Kaiser Permanente serves one of the most culturally diverse communities in the world. Our members speak more than 80 different languages and each language represents a race, ethnicity, or culture with unique beliefs, values, traditions, and behaviors. Our goal is to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care across the spectrum of our diverse membership.
Culturally Competent Care
Our longstanding commitment to diversity includes both the development of a diverse workforce and the delivery of culturally competent care to our members.
Under the direction of our National Diversity Council, Kaiser Permanente has played an important role in advancing culturally competent care - health care that acknowledges cultural diversity in the clinical setting, respects members' beliefs and practices, and ensures that cultural needs are considered and respected at every point of contact.
Through our Institute for Culturally Competent Care, Kaiser Permanente has established "Centers of Excellence," innovative clinical models that respond to the health needs of specific populations. The San Francisco Center of Excellence provides primary care in Spanish and Chinese, as well as onsite services by interpreters proficient in other languages and dialects.
A Center of Excellence focusing on the African-American population has been established at our West Los Angeles Medical Center. The Center focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions prevalent among African Americans: sickle cell disease, congestive heart failure, and prostate cancer.
Similarly, we have established a Latino Center of Excellence in the Colorado Region with a multipronged approach to culturally competent care. La Clinica de la Familia provides primary care through a bilingual family practice and addresses the specific health needs of the region's Latino membership.
At the same time, we are committed to creating a workforce with a high level of cultural sensitivity and the language skills needed to help eliminate cultural barriers to communication. The diversity of our workforce allows us to provide personalized services to market segments such as women over 65, Latino families, and Russian immigrants, meeting each member's needs in a way that is valuable for them.
Our goal is to enhance the diversity of our workforce and to provide culturally competent care and culturally appropriate services to improve the health and satisfaction of our membership. In order for Kaiser Permanente to be premiere as an organization, we must embrace diversity -- to enhance, celebrate, and learn from it. Our diversity is also our strength.