Kaiser Permanente has awarded $2.37 million to 59 “safety net” organizations across the country to advance virtual care delivery to low-income communities – including $275,000 for 10 local organizations in the DC, Baltimore and Northern Virginia region. Safety net providers are a mix of public hospitals, community-based organizations such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and other health care organizations providing free, low-cost, and/or subsidized health services.
“Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Tonga Turner, interim executive director of Community Health, Kaiser Permanente. “One way we do that is by improving access to health care. These safety net grants will allow our community partners to expand their telehealth infrastructure, providing accessible services for people experiencing the greatest health inequities. As early leaders of virtual care delivery, we know that telehealth can be a powerful tool in our fight to reduce health disparities, but only if we step up to close the digital divide. That’s why this funding is such a critical part of our community health strategy.”
The funded organizations are part of the Virtual Care Innovation Network, a community health collaboration brought together by Kaiser Permanente, working to ensure that virtual care models continue after the pandemic abates and beyond. The program brings together a cohort of health care providers and safety net leaders to solve challenges associated with the implementation, improvement, and sustainability of telehealth or telemedicine visits.
“The rise of telehealth presents an extraordinary opportunity to improve access to health care, especially for those who face obstacles to receiving in-person care,” said Tamara Smith, president & CEO, DC Primary Care Association. “The Virtual Care Innovation Network works with local health centers to sustain and strengthen care so that more residents across the Mid-Atlantic region can benefit from virtual visits on a long-term basis.”
In the Mid-Atlantic region, the grant will fund the following health centers:
Washington D.C., and Suburban Maryland:
- So Others Might Eat – $57,000
- Greater Baden Medical Services – $37,000
- La Clinica del Pueblo – $37,000
- Community of Hope – $17,000
- Unity Health Care – $12,000
- Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care – $12,000
- Family Health Center of Baltimore – $37,000
- Total Health Care – $37,000
- Health Works for Northern Virginia – $12,000
- Greater Prince William Health Center – $17,000
In Kaiser Permanente service areas, federally qualified health centers serve more than seven million individuals, including people who are uninsured, Medicaid members, and under resourced populations. In addition to working families, children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities – these health centers serve students, people experiencing homelessness, those living in public housing, agricultural workers and veterans. The grants aim to ensure that virtual care continues, uninterrupted, for patients who rely on safety nets, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers, for care.
With more than 1,600 physicians, Kaiser Permanente has one of the largest medical groups in the region. Members in the Mid-Atlantic have access to award-winning health care online or in person at any of Kaiser Permanente’s 33 medical offices in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, in a way that is convenient, connected, and personalized.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/