A Message from Ruth Williams-Brinkley, Regional President
Dear Colleagues and Partners,
While 2020 has been a year of tremendous challenges, it also has demonstrated our community’s resilience and a boundless compassion for one another. I am inspired by courageous frontline workers, people of all ages and backgrounds marching for justice, teachers creating new virtual connections with students and community organizations stepping up to serve like never before.
2020 reminds us that we are stronger together. It reminds us just how powerful collaboration is and how big a role social health plays in the total health of our community members. At Kaiser Permanente, we remain deeply committed to caring for our community. This year, we awarded $4 million in grants and donations to community organizations and non-profits throughout the mid-Atlantic region to reduce and prevent homelessness, increase access to food, and strengthen small businesses to meet the needs of our members and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious barriers to health including unemployment, food insecurity, homelessness and more. These social needs are disproportionately affecting women and communities of color. As an organization, we’ve deepened our 75-year commitment to equity, calling out racism as a public health problem and reaffirming our role as leaders in the fight to end injustice in health care and in our society at large. To meet the immense increase in social needs, we launched the Mid-Atlantic Community Network (MACN), which connects community residents to service organizations, health care providers, and public agencies that provide housing, food, employment, transportation, mental health and other kinds of assistance. I firmly believe that by integrating social care into health care, we can help people live healthier lives. The MACN currently consists of nearly 300 partner organizations in the mid-Atlantic region, all focused on meeting social needs of the community. In just six months, more than 560 referrals have been made to connect community members in Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland, and Baltimore to social services. If you would like to learn more the Mid-Atlantic Community Network, I encourage you to visit the web pages of our partner in this initiative, Unite Us, for the DC and Baltimore areas where you can register to join the network or receive more information. Thank you to our many partner organizations who have demonstrated tremendous dedication to service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we are creating conditions for good health so that everyone may thrive. We wish you a peaceful and healthy holiday season.
Ruth E. Williams-Brinkley, President
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States
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