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.
Our funding to the Canal Alliance helped support 40 pop-up vaccine clinics that provided 12,000 vaccinations to low-income Latinx immigrants throughout San Rafael’s canal neighborhood who faced language and technology barriers to getting vaccinated. In Sonoma County, our grant to Raizes Collective brought together community organizations and trusted health professionals that supported 24 rural pop-up clinics that provided 1,810 vaccinations.
Helping local economies to thrive
A good job with a steady paycheck is foundational to good physical and mental health. Together with our community partners, Kaiser Permanente is expanding economic opportunity in communities that have endured decades of underinvestment.
Our grant to Community Action Marin supported a training program to assist people from low-income backgrounds to establish a stable income source by becoming licensed family childcare providers. Training and mentoring were provided in Spanish. The program also expanded the availability of quality childcare in low-income neighborhoods. Our support of the Santa Rosa Junior College District’s HOPE Program provided academic tutoring, counseling, and other support for 85 diverse, first-generation college students to help them pursue a career in health care.
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 work to expand access to services included a grant to LifeWorks of Sonoma County to provide no-cost, in-home, trauma-focused mental health therapy to Latinx youth and their families in Spanish and English. In San Rafael, we funded Huckleberry Youth Programs and its support of youth mental health and substance misuse interventions through outreach, education, screening, brief interventions, and counseling. The program served more than 1,000 underserved youth.
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 Marin/Sonoma communities.
Care and Coverage
High quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate health services in coordinated delivery systems.
All community members are economically secure in order to thrive.
Youth thrive in school and are prepared for college, career, and community success.
All community members have access to quality, affordable, and stable housing.
Social and emotional health and well-being and access to high-quality behavioral health care services when needed.