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Kaiser Permanente Announces New Fellowship Opportunity at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for an Emerging Safety Net Leader

 Kaiser Permanente announced it will sponsor an emerging leader from one of the nation's thousands of safety net health care organizations, as part of a fellowship program offered by the internationally recognized Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
 
The sponsored fellow will receive personalized guidance to help reengage and transform their own institutions after graduation.
 
Kaiser Permanente and IHI are both committed to the nation's safety net organizations, which they believe have critical roles in cultivating a just, equitable, and patient-centered health care system during the challenges of health care reform.
 
"With the onset of profound changes in health insurance coverage and financing, safety net organizations are facing uncharted waters," said Winston Wong, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. "These institutions will take on the added challenge of converting historically under-resourced settings to competitive organizations in the new health marketplace, while sustaining a commitment to the underserved. A new set of leaders is needed to take on this challenge."
 
IHI President and CEO Maureen Bisognano said Kaiser Permanente's willingness to underwrite the further development of a health care leader committed to both improvement and the safety net, is both timely and a welcome addition to IHI's program, which now counts 50 alumni.
 
"The individual we seek for this fellowship will hold fast to the unique role and accountabilities of safety net organizations while enlisting a skill set that harvests the cutting edge of the process of change, a culture of innovation, and a scientific application of system and performance improvement," she said.
 
IHI has spearheaded quality and performance improvement concepts in health care, helping the United States and the world move from a system that tolerates waste and indifference to one that is patient-, family-, and community-centered and values health and esteem for individuals both well and sick.
 
The person chosen will spend one year on site at IHI in Cambridge, Mass., and will join up to six other fellows who are afforded the time and programming to bond as a group, focus on individualized areas of investigation, and collaborate with the vibrant IHI community.  
 
For eligibility requirements and an application, visit www.IHI.org/Fellowships.
 
For decades, safety net institutions have stood at the forefront in maintaining access to quality health care for those who couldn't afford it, while constantly fighting for economic survival as stalwart advocates of the needs of the underserved, explained Wong. The clinicians, nurses and administrators of these organizations have forged innovative models of care, particularly for culturally and socio-economically diverse populations, and have addressed the complexities of caring for those with co-morbidities yet few resources to address them.
 
Kaiser Permanente and IHI have a long-standing relationship. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente granted its 1,000th Institute for Healthcare Improvement Community Benefit Scholarship, made possible by an endowment established in partnership with the IHI in 2004. As a result of this partnership, hundreds of Kaiser Permanente's safety-net partners have received scholarships for continuing education and quality-improvement training opportunities offered by the IHI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care.
 
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, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.8 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal 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. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.
 
About IHI
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (www.ihi.org) is an independent not-for-profit organization that works with health care providers and leaders throughout the world to achieve safe and effective health care. IHI focuses on motivating and building the will for change, identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with both patients and health care professionals, and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, IHI mobilizes teams, organizations, and increasingly nations, through its staff of more than 100 people and partnerships with hundreds of faculty around the world.
 
For more information, contact:Patrice Smith, 510.271-6813, Patrice.l.smith@kp.org

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