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Creating healthy communities: walking our talk

At Kaiser Permanente Washington, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care and improve the health of our members and their communities. This commitment to healthy communities benefits not only our 670,000 members, but 6 million people living across the state in the areas we serve.

You can find our investments in classrooms and in local parks. Our projects can be as serious and personal as our investment in Medicaid, or as creative and inspirational as collaborating to present educational theater in regional schools.

Big Day of Play 2017 logoThis month, Kaiser Permanente is proud to be the title sponsor of the Big Day of Play 2017, a daylong gathering on Aug. 19 at the Rainier Playfield and Community Center in Seattle. Everyone is welcome to join the free event.

The event, presented by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, is designed to bring diverse communities together for fun exercise activities, food, entertainment — and to connect with each other. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend, including Susan Mullaney, president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington.

Basketball to pickleball (and snacks, of course)

Some of the family-friendly activities available:

  • Basketball
  • Inflatable obstacle course
  • Stand-up paddle boarding (at nearby Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Pickleball
  • Goal ball (team sport for low to no vision players)
  • And much more!
Kaiser Permanente Fitness Zones

A man leading two women in some light exercise at the Powell Barnett Fitness Zone opening celebration. Pictured: Michael ‘Status’ Brown, Virginia Wyman, Deborah Clothier.

Kaiser Permanente staff will also be handing out snacks, taking people’s blood pressure, and providing bicycle helmet fittings and giveaways. A pop-up fitness area within our Thrive Zone will feature examples of exercise equipment being installed at 10 parks around the state, with more planned over the next two years. These areas are a result of our collaboration with the Trust for Public Lands and local communities. The equipment areas are suitable for people age 13 and up of any fitness level. They are free and available to anyone who wants to come out and move.

“Where we live has a major impact on our health”

Other Kaiser Permanente community health activities include:

  • Collaborating with Seattle Children’s Theatre to present in-school plays that address relevant health topics — like bullying and self-esteem — to students across the state.
  • Providing care for more than 7,500 students through eight school-based clinics.
  • Caring for about 25,000 Medicaid members each year.
  • Serving as top sponsor for the free Seattle King County Community Clinic Oct. 26-29, where we will be providing medical supplies and health care volunteers for vision, dental, and mental health services; interpreters; and general support.

“These are just a few examples of what we’re doing to address the needs of communities we serve,” says Kim Wicklund, Kaiser Permanente Washington director for Community Health and Benefit.

From increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables to advancing economic opportunity, from addressing the profound need for mental health resources to making business choices that respect our environment, Kaiser Permanente’s care for its members and communities reaches well beyond the doctor’s office.

“Where we live has a major impact on our health. By investing in healthy communities, we elevate the health of our members and the health of others in their community,” Wicklund says. “We’re committed to working in ways that lead to measurable, sustained impact and that advance health equity, so that all people have the opportunity to thrive.”

The Big Day of Play 2017 will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday, Aug. 19. It will be at the Rainier Playfield and Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., Seattle (just off Rainier Ave. S. between South Oregon and South Alaska streets), in the Rainier Valley in Seattle.

All plans offered and underwritten by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington or Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc.

© Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington