By Erin Meade, Senior Consultant, Corporate Communications
It was a week of firsts for the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Community Health team, with new and exciting engagements across the region. These firsts all demonstrate our commitment to engage a variety of partners to make a collective impact on health in our communities, from the grassroots to the treetops.
In Northern Virginia, we hosted the first meeting of the Community Health Advisory Committee. This Committee – composed of non-profit partners, health funders, and community residents – will meet quarterly to provide ideas and feedback on our Community Health work in the service area. It will also provide a forum for Committee members to share opportunities and best practices so they can grow their expertise, relationships, and collaborations. These grassroots, front-line community members bring the voice of those benefiting from and in need of support to ensure we understand and prioritize the community’s needs as the community does. Moving forward, this group will be essential to grounding the Northern Virginia team’s community health strategy in 2018 and beyond.
The next day, in Annapolis, we co-hosted the first Future Baltimore legislative day in partnership with Bon Secours. This engagement event – like the project itself –embodied the project motto: Nothing About Me Without Me. With the support of state Delegates Keith Haynes and Delegate Curt Anderson, a formal presentation about Future Baltimore was made to delegates and staff while students from Fredrick Elementary, a partner school, toured the state capitol.
Over lunch, Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours, was joined by Kaiser Permanente’s Jill Feldon, VP of Marketing, Communication, & Community Relations, and Wayne Wilson, VP of Government Programs & External Relations, to welcome several guests. They were followed by the program leaders, Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, PhD, and Talib Horne, of KP and Bon Secours, respectively. Destiny and Talib inspired attendees with a vision for the future of ZIP Code 21223, the neighborhood at the heart of Future Baltimore. Residents of 21223 were on hand to share their excitement about this tremendous undertaking, which they’re leading in lock step with our organizations.
On top of that, Future Baltimore hosted a Family Health fair on Saturday in partnership with Fredrick Elementary. In addition to our Mobile Health Van, several community partners were on hand. Highlights included the Colgate Smiles Dental Van, the Pratt Mobile Job Van, and GymGo. Dozens of families took advantage of the day to get teeth cleanings, flu shots, housing and financial advice, and so much more.
Finally, on Monday, March 12, Kaiser Permanente’s Chief Operating Officer Joe Butz addressed a crowd of more than 600 guests at the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s annual gala held at the Arena Stage. Kaiser Permanente was proud to sponsor this year’s event, themed Celebrate Philanthropy, which included a special tribute to local philanthropy leader and president of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), Carol Thompson Cole. Kaiser Permanente invested in a partnership with VPP in 2016 to help high school students and families prepare for meaningful and rewarding careers. These Ready for Work programs are expected to benefit about 3,000 students by 2020.