For three consecutive years, in partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Kaiser Permanente hosted the annual Regional Homelessness Forum.
This year’s forum, on Oct. 12, reinforced the power of regional collaboration and the importance of medical respite with guest speakers from leading non-profit organizations, public and private funders, and government agencies including:
- Tree of Hope Association in Montgomery County, MD
- Arlington County’s Department of Human Services, VA
- Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services, MD
- Health Care for the Homeless in Montgomery County, MD
- Micah Ecumenical Ministries in Fredericksburg, VA
- Brooke Lane Health Services and Suburban Hospital in Washington County, MD
- National Coalition for the Homeless, Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the forum addressed individuals with lived experience of homelessness and why their voices should be centered in the work to address this issue.
The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) designed the Lived Experience Training Academy so that people experiencing homelessness could be involved in all levels of work.
As a person with lived experience, Dr. Donald Whitehead, Executive Director of the NCH, said, “We also understand that even though they are involved in levels of work, in many different organizations, there isn’t often a lot of pre-training or equipping individuals to really be genuinely involved in the work.”
“Kaiser Permanente, among other funders, is supporting the Lived Experience Training Academy,” said Dr. George Leventhal, Director of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente, “because we understand that you cannot successfully design systems of care without the deep input and advocacy and leadership of those who are the recipients of the care.”
Lastly, Kaiser Permanente is working closely with Prince George’s County Government, hospitals, and community organizations to establish a residential medical respite program in the county.
“We’re excited about our new and expanding partnership with Kaiser Permanente on our medical respite program that’s been around since about 2010,” said Barbara Banks-Wiggins, Project Manager for Medical Respite in Prince George’s County. “Our goal is to provide short term care and post-acute care for persons with no safe place to go and who require medical oversight and support.”
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.