Kaiser Permanente Employees Welcome Innovative Ideas from John Hayden Johnson Middle School Students


Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with SuitUp, supported an innovative business competition to increase career readiness for middle school students.

Students from John Hayden Johnson Middle School in Southeast D.C. were invited to sit at the corporate table with 21 Kaiser Permanente employees to be heard and seen as CEOs of their own company. The five teams were challenged to find innovative solutions to increase digital literacy among all Kaiser Permanente members but especially the senior population.

Each team presented their ideas to a panel of judges who were responsible for reviewing, providing feedback, and choosing a winner among the competing teams of students and coaches.

The winning team proposed a virtual medical assistant app called “Hey, Kaiser!” attributing this idea to their grandparents’ comfort with virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. In addition to being presented with a certificate, the students were also awarded a cash prize for their teamwork.

As part of our equitable career pathways initiative to build our workforce of the future, Kaiser Permanente volunteers were recruited from a wide range of teams including Community Health, Digital, Mobility and Virtual Care, Construction Management & Contracts, Human Resources, and more.

About SuitUp

SuitUp is a 501(c)(3) education non-profit that increases career readiness for all students through innovative virtual and in-person business competitions. Through SuitUp, students experience solving a realistic corporate challenge, such as designing a new product for Nike. They work with corporate volunteers who coach them on marketing, design, financing, and strategy, before helping them pitch virtually to judges for a cash prize. By the end of the experience, students can see the corporate world as part of “their world” and know that job titles, such as CEO, CFO, VP of Marketing, etc. are now in their grasp. You can take a look at it in action here.

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 12.7 million members in 8 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.

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