In 2021, Kaiser Permanente continued to respond urgently to the staggering health and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on the communities we serve.
Together with our partners, we addressed the most critical health needs in our community: COVID-19 prevention and vaccination; food, housing, and economic security; and mental health and wellness. We prioritized support of low-income communities and communities of color, who continue to bear an unequal burden from the pandemic.
Protecting hard-hit communities
COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in 2021, but some communities hard hit by the pandemic faced barriers to getting vaccinated. Kaiser Permanente collaborated with public health departments, community health centers, and other trusted community and faith partners to address vaccine concerns and make it easy for people to get vaccinated.
We awarded a $75,000 grant to the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission African American Coalition to increase vaccination rates in communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, primarily communities of color. The funding supported culturally relevant vaccination outreach and registration in accessible neighborhood locations such as churches and barbershops, and through social media to increase trust in the vaccines — and ultimately vaccination rates.
Providing critical support for social health needs
Good health requires more than high-quality medical care. Social health factors such as having enough healthy food and a safe place to live are also essential. As the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, Kaiser Permanente is intensifying efforts to meet the critical social health needs of our community.
To support individuals and families at risk for hunger and eligible for government food benefits, we awarded a $95,000 grant to the Central California Food Bank. The food bank partnered with more than 30 community organizations and launched social media campaigns to help an estimated 2,450 individuals to apply for CalFresh food benefits in Fresno, Madera, Tulare, and Kings counties.
Improving access to mental health care
Against the backdrop of a national shortage of mental health care professionals, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health needs in the community. In response, Kaiser Permanente is using its resources, reach, and partnerships to improve access to community mental health services and expand the mental health workforce pipeline.
Our 2-year $90,000 grant to The Resiliency Center of Fresno focuses on mitigating the impact of trauma on children and families. Working in partnership with the Fresno Police Department, the center identifies and assesses children who have been witnesses of or victims of trauma and connects their families to community resources and mental health services. The program estimated that it would reach 2,600 children over the next 2 years.
By the Numbers
Medical Financial Assistance
care and coverage
Youth and adults reached
through Educational Theatre
In grants, donations
and direct support
Medical residents trained
in our Graduate Medical
Community health priorities
As part of our commitment to improve health and health equity in our community, every 3 years we conduct a rigorous and collaborative community health needs assessment. For 2021, Kaiser Permanente identified the following significant health priorities in our Fresno communities.