By its very nature, Kaiser Permanente is a beneficial and a giving organization. It provides gifts of care, time, money, expertise, free online information and other resources to improve the health of the communities it serves.

Kaiser’s total community investment exceeded $55 million last year, including charitable care, grants, donations and services. The organization’s Community Benefit Program is enhanced by the individual generosity of more than 4,500 North Bay employees.

“As a nonprofit organization, we give to our communities in many ways,” said Judy Coffey, Kaiser’s senior vice president and area manager for Marin and Sonoma counties. “In addition to providing medical assistance, free surgeries in our facilities through Operation Access, and being a center of medical education, KP’s giving extends beyond its medical centers to our communities.”

Kaiser physicians and staff members engage in fundraising events, local clinics and at numerous community functions. More than 150 KP Marin-Sonoma physicians and staff members serve on more than 200 community boards, commissions and committees.

That includes the Healthy Marin Partnership, the North Bay Leadership Council, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma County Health Action Council, the Sonoma County Library Commission, the Workforce Investment Board and chambers of commerce in Santa Rosa, San Rafael and Petaluma.

Collectively, physicians, nurses and staff gave $146,518 to local organizations of their choice during the annual Community Giving Campaign – a figure nearly doubled by corporate matching funds. In 2016, Kaiser also awarded grants and sponsorships to support 63 Sonoma and Marin county nonprofits.

Educational support is another key goal. KP Educational Theatre programs promoted healthy lifestyles and provided health information to some 19,040 students and adults within these same two counties. KP also offers medical education to MD and pharmacy residents, nursing students, summer youth interns as well as clinical and allied health trainees.

“We share medical research along with protocols and clinical best practices with local community clinics, including ongoing programs such as Exercise as a Vital Sign and Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday (PHASE),” Coffey added.

The Kaiser philosophy of service extends to special days of the year dedicated to the memory of key American leaders, such as the Martin Luther King Day of Service, when nearly 80 KP employees in the North Bay volunteered for a number of community improvement projects.

One long-time resident of the region explained, “Kaiser employees are community, both inside and outside their facilities.”