Rosie's Riveters Day 1: The Next Generation meets the Pioneers of the Women’s Movement

Editor's Note: This is the first post in a series showing genKP's trip to the White House with a group of Rosie the Riveters! Stay tuned for future posts!

Day 1: The Next Generation meets the Pioneers of the Women’s Movement

By: Jessica Johnson and Jaimie Reyes

It all started on a busy Tuesday morning in March. I got a phone call from Ije Udeze, chief of staff, asking me to participate in meeting that I was not a part of, but I didn’t hesitate to say, “I’ll be right in.” At the end of the meeting, Jennifer Scanlon, community relations director, was nonchalantly talking to the group about an amazing project she had been assigned to. She was in charge of putting together a White House trip to Washington, D.C. for six Rosie the Riveters. I was familiar with the Rosie the Riveter picture. I mean, who doesn’t know the cute girl with the red bandana, flexing her right bicep?! But I didn’t know the “story” behind that historical picture. I vaguely heard Jennifer say they wanted two genKP members to go on this trip to represent the past, present and future of Kaiser Permanente. Ije quickly looked over at me and said, “Do you want to go?” I of course did not hesitate to say, “Heck yea I do!”Rosie-the-Riveter

I wanted to learn as much about the Rosies as I possibly could. I read and skimmed all of the articles and bios that I could find.

A couple days before the trip, Jennifer invited Jaimie and myself to the Rosie Memorial Center in Richmond, for a meet and greet with the Rosies. All of the reading, skimming, browsing I did about these ladies did not capture the energy, excitement, strength, wittiness, and determination I learned just from a 15 minute in-person meeting with them. The short amount of time I got to spend with these ladies before our D.C. trip made me 10 times more excited and honored to travel with an amazing and heroic group of women.

As we started our journey to SFO at 4:30 AM on Sunday, March 30th, I started to realize the importance of this trip. Jaimie, Jennifer, and I have the opportunity to accompany the pioneers of the Women’s Rights movement, before Lean In, before Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This trip is everything to me; I have the honor of being in the presence of fearless women.

As an early professional I know the joys and pains of innovation, and pushing the envelope when you’re passionate about something. These heroines will teach us perseverance, patience, and strength without flexing through their stories alone.

These women answered the nation’s call for help, and supported Kaiser Permanente’s vision for lean and agile methods way before Six Sigma was written into the DNA of corporate operations. So as we descend into Washington D.C., I’m thinking about everything, how to enjoy these phenomenal women, how to stay rosy, and how to contribute to something that is bigger than yourself.

KP Share article: Kaiser Permanente Shipyard Rosies Headed to White House

What Does Health Equity Mean to You?

By Pauline Sze, genKP community benefit lead

Whether it’s close proximity to affordable healthy foods, equitable access to healthcare services, or safe routes to schools and homes – healthcare is at the center of the social justice movement. Over a hundred Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit leads gathered together in downtown San Francisco on March 20, 2014 as part of the 2014 Community Benefit Summit. This was an event put on by the Program Office Community Benefit program to advance the thinking on key challenges and opportunities that are facing Community Benefit and how we can align them to Kaiser Permanente’s strategic imperatives.

Dr. Raymond Baxter, senior vice president of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente, delivered a thought-provoking keynote that outlined his vision for Kaiser Permanente to be a leader in Total Health. This vision for Total Health encompasses a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being for all. This moves us beyond looking solely at the hospitals and clinics that we operate, but more closely at the environments and communities that play a critical role in shaping our health on a day to day basis.

Slide from Dr. Raymond Baxter’s Presentation, “Where We Are, Where We’re Going: Challenges and Opportunities for Community Benefit” via

The message for Total Health became even clearer when Dr. Baxter projected a map of the health equities of the Bay Area. This map highlighted different pockets of the region that have drastically different health outcomes. What struck a chord was that the health outcomes that were being displayed on this map were specifically those of Kaiser Permanente employees who have the same access to healthcare coverage. This demonstrated what an important role that other factors play in healthcare, such as the environment, income status, and education. Dr. Baxter urged attendees to look at health equity and what Community Benefit can do to close the inequity gap, and that “if we stand for health, we must stand for equity.”

Share your thoughts in the comments section below on what health equity means to you and your ideas for how to close the gap on health inequity.

Millennials Want Healthier Workplaces

As millennials shift workforce demographics, one area of influence will be an increased demand for health and wellness initiatives.

A new study by Aon Hewitt found that millennials are comfortable with the integration of health into the workplace. Millennial employees are interested in a "culture of wellness" that allows them to manage their health, as well as achieve their personal goals through incentives. These types of wellness initiatives can help to improve employee morale and engagement.

Millennials are interested in utilizing tech tools to quantify their health data. According to a recently-released study by the health platform Keas:

  • - 46% of Millennials want as much quantifiable data about their health as possible
  • - 54% of Millennials will likely buy a body-analyzing device (weight, body fat, blood pressure, etc.)
  • - 31% believe that genetics/DNA tests are valuable in better understanding of their health

At Kaiser Permanente, the Healthy Workforce team is leading wellness initiatives to keep employees healthy and engaged through programs like "Instant Recess" and yoga sessions, which demonstrate a commitment to total health.

One upcoming event is the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 2. Kaiser Permanente is inviting its downtown Oakland employees to join their KP colleagues for a walking flash mob.

  • - 12:10 p.m.– Warm up those muscles and stretch. The first 200 walkers to join us will receive an event t-shirt to wear during the walk.
  • - 12:15 p.m.– Join us for a 30-minute walk to celebrate National Walking Day!

The route will begin just outside The Ordway on the Cathedral side. The scenic walking route will provide 30 minutes of walking for the day- remember, 30 minutes of walking, five days a week provides amazing health benefits! For more information, visit or

We loved you at our Valentine's Day Happy Hour!

On Thursday February 13th, Cupid was ready to help us share our love for our members at our first happy hour of 2014! About 40 genKP members made their way to Plum Bar in uptown Oakland for an early evening of networking that included paprika french fries, roasted brussel sprouts and other fun libations. Everyone was glad to hear that these happy hour gatherings will now be organized each month! So how do we top the love and affection we have toward St. Valentine? With a tricky, little green leprechaun in March! The official date and location will be posted on our Events page, make sure to check it out for the latest updates. We look forward to seeing you there!


genKP at the Kaiser Permanente 5K/Half Marathon

Events Lead Lorin Lee and Community Benefit Lead Pauline Sze
genKP leads Lorin Lee and Pauline Sze

It was a rainy day in Golden Gate Park, but that didn't dampen the spirits of runners and walkers participating in the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco 5K/ Half Marathon on February 2. genKP represented at the event with a booth in the Post-Race Expo area, spreading the word about our Multicultural Business Resource Group and quizzing folks on generational trivia for fun giveaways. We partnered with #OwnNow and Everybody Walk!, passing out pedometers and Thrive frisbees, as well as plenty of genKP swag.


See below for a gallery of images from the event, including KP employees who lived out the Thrive mentality by seizing the day, pre- Super Bowl. genKP got into the game with Finance Lead Shingai Samudzi leading a running group for the 5K race.

Almost at the finish line!
Almost at the finish line!
genKP 5K running lead Shingai Samudzi with his wife, Amber
KP employee Juan Sarabia just after completing his first Half-Marathon, great job!
KP employee Juan Sarabia just after completing his first half marathon!
Felix Amoruwa and Sashi Vema
KP employees Felix Amoruwa and Sashi Vema
Volunteers at the Post-Race Expo
Events Lead Lorin Lee and Communications Lead Lauren Duffy
Lorin Lee and Lauren Duffy at the genKP booth

Congrats to all who participated in the 5K or Half Marathon, way to start off 2014 on the right foot!

Stephen Curry teams up with Kaiser Permanente to #OwnNow

ownnow_logoGenKP is thrilled to announce our partnership with the #OwnNow campaign, an exciting initiative to encourage millennials to own their health, push life farther, and refuse to settle for less. Kaiser Permanente has partnered with NBA stars Stephen Curry and Chris Paul to inspire young adults to lead active lifestyles and secure the health care coverage they need.

On December 18, hundreds of excited fans stopped by Richmond's Hilltop Mall to meet Golden State Warrior and #OwnNow ambassador Stephen Curry. With a canned food donation, fans were able to participate in a meet-and-greet and take a photo with the famed point guard. GenKP represented at the event with communications lead Lauren Duffy tweeting from the @kpownnow handle, sharing the event's excitement with followers.

Before the meet-and-greet session, Curry spoke to the pumped up crowd about making healthy living a priority, and the importance of getting yourself and your family covered.



In partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Curry met Emilio Marco Bejarano Penn from Oakland, an eight-year-old whose wish was to meet Curry, and whose parents are KP employees.



Fans of all ages excitedly queued up to meet with Curry and snap a photo together - plenty of fans rocking Warriors blue-and-yellow:



Curry finished up the night with a raffle of a signed basketball and a quick bike ride - reminding all of us to keep moving, take it to the next level, and keep owning now!


For more information about #OwnNow, check out their Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, and make sure to follow for all of their latest updates!

Millennial Management: Adapting to a Changing Workforce

By 2025, Gen-Y will form roughly 75% of the world's workforce. That's a short twelve years away, and today's managers are considering how they can adapt to the style and changing goals of this workforce shift.

According to Josh Bersin's Forbes' piece, "Millennials Will Soon Rule the World: But How Will They Lead?", nearly half of Gen-Y/Millennial respondents are already in leadership positions. Millennials are less interested in a defined career path and instead look for recognition based on performance, not tenure.

Kay Mercado
Kay Mercado

I spoke with Kay Mercado, a Kaiser Permanente manager who works with Gen-Y team members and is in tune with a "millennial management" style. Mercado is the Director of Design and User Experience in the Mobility Center of Excellence. She started at KP in 2000 with a graphic design background; in the past thirteen years, she has worked in areas including external sites (, intranet, and in the Innovation Labs Team at the Garfield Center.

Mercado, who identifies as Gen-X, has been in her current role at the Mobility Center for two years. In her first year on the job, she quickly realized the increased demand for mobile apps and projects, and expanded her staff. She now manages a team of four: three visual designers (focusing on look, feel, branding components) and one UX designer (focusing on interactive, wireframe, app flow elements).

Her team focuses on the interaction and visual design experience for iOS and Android apps, as well as piloting projects for the Windows 8 tablet. They also manage the certification of any KP mobile app developed internally or externally, ensuring that it follows standards for experience, design, branding and ADA compliance. Her team is based in Oakland's "IThrive" prototype floor, a modern, tech-focused environment that facilitates their collaborative attitude.

KP's IThrive Floor - Photo by Jasper Sanidad

Mercado's leadership style emphasizes collaboration and feedback, with weekly one-on-ones and design sessions with her team. Previously, Mercado was the only creative person in her IT group and found it to be a struggle, because she didn't have other designers to brainstorm with. "As soon as I became a manager, I knew exactly what I needed to do. My whole philosophy is based is on everything I didn't have [previously]," said Mercado. In their weekly design sessions, her team shares ideas, whether it's tricks in Photoshop or new apps they may have come across. Her one-on-one sessions provide a chance for informal feedback on both sides, by finding out if there is anything her team needs (software, hardware), and to ask for feedback on how she is managing.

When asked if she has a leader that she looks up to, Mercado mentioned Senior Vice President Wendy Lee, whom she had the opportunity to have a few one-on-ones with as her mentor. "She is very personal and in touch with her employees, and I highly respect that," said Mercado. She found that emulating that approachable mentality with her employees has been working very well within her own team.

For her peers in management, Mercado strongly recommends taking advantage of the KP Internship Program. One of her visual designers is an intern that she found through the internship program, and she described it as a great way to recruit young designers. Mercado mentioned the value of adding a millennial perspective to the team, in that "they just think differently and are exposed to different ways of doing design," citing social media as one example.

Mercado's transparent, collaborative leadership style naturally coheres with a Gen-Y perspective. After taking a look at the Forbes Millennial study, "I didn't even realize I was managing the way millennials like to be managed," said Mercado, with a laugh.

GenKP Volunteers at the Innovation and Advanced Technology Forum

By: Marina T. Aiello, kpLibraries

On October 23rd, the Innovation and Advanced Technology (IAT) team hosted the ‘Educating for Outcomes’ Technology Forum at the Garfield Innovation Center. The event was co-sponsored by National Patient Care Services and engaged about 130 attendees either in-person or via WebEx. For the Technology Forum, the IAT Team focused on concepts of education and learning as they pertain to patient care and the ever-changing healthcare environment.

Dr. James Lewis and Faye Sahai, VP of IAT
Dr. James Lewis and Faye Sahai, VP of IAT

James Lewis, MD delivered the rousing keynote message, which challenged attendees to consider current barriers to the adoption of educational technology as well as exciting future opportunities for learning within medical and health education. Dr. Lewis identified trends in technology and innovation that were reflected in presentations from the 12 exhibitors at the Technology Forum.


Google Glass Wonder
Trying out Google Glass at the Tech Forum

The exhibits offered presentations from KP Employees on topics like the KP Learning Forum, QR codes for supporting patient care, and prototypes envisioning the future of care at Kaiser. Also, the external exhibitors spoke with KP Employees to explore potential ways that their product might someday be integrated into the KP system, including Ayogo, Coursera, Knowledgefox, and more. In-person attendees were able to download apps to their personal devices, ask questions of the exhibitors, and try out new technologies (like Google Glass, see photo above). But WebEx attendees didn’t miss out on the fun because they were able to view live interviews with each of the exhibitors as well as request more information from any of the exhibits.

As GenKP volunteers, we were able to get an entertaining and informative behind-the-scenes look at how the Technology Forums are organized and implemented. We assisted exhibitors with setting up their booths, helped troubleshoot connectivity issues, and used iPads to survey in-person attendees for immediate feedback on their experience. Aside from the excitement around supporting the IAT Team in hosting the Technology Forum, we were also able to gain information on innovative projects at Kaiser Permanente as well as consider how these emerging technologies might be useful in our respective departments.

Prof Connary and Nurse Dan
"Professor Connary" and "Dr. Nurse Dan" opening skit

Overall, the ‘Educating for Outcomes’ Technology Forum was a wonderful opportunity for all attendees to discover the many ways that the future of technology will contribute to education, and ultimately, improve care for our members, patients, and communities. We are so glad that we were able to participate in this event as GenKP volunteers (and that we were able to learn a ton in the process)!

If you’d like to receive invites to future Technology Forum events, please contact:

Thanks to Marina for writing this guest blog post, and to Maren for providing the photos!

Coming to KP: New Employees Share Their Stories

Jason Lim hard at work
Jason Lim hard at work at KP Business Information Offices


Prem Kaur, Jason Lim, and Robert Murray began their journeys as Kaiser Permanente employees just a few months ago. While the process of onboarding and transitioning to a new role can be overwhelming at first, all three of the new employees agree that their experience thus far has been nothing but a positive and exciting experience. Many early career professionals made their first impressions of Kaiser Permanente as a patient, and the positive experience continued into the work environment.

As a Kaiser Permanente patient for as long as she can remember, Kaur did not pass up the chance to work with the organization. As an IT Business consultant for NCAL Business Information Offices, Kaur has been recently assisting the Flu Shot Clinics in Santa Clara, California. Making sure IT has everything they need to run a successful clinic, Kaur gets to directly see how her work affects patients in a positive way. Her start at Kaiser Permanente was overwhelming, learning new jargon and processes, but she has never questioned her career choice. It has been a positive experience from the start. Only starting three months ago, Kaur’s mentor has been there every step of the way to help her become more familiar with terms and processes, and grow professionally.

The experience of coming into Kaiser Permanente as an early career professional was similar for Jason Lim. While previously working in health care for five years, Lim knew that Kaiser Permanente was the best option for him after receiving quality treatment as a patient for many years. Lim directly saw how great it was to work for this organization through a friend. Working for NCAL Business Information Offices, Program Management Offices, he is working on the ICD10 project which provides codes used to diagnose patients. From day one, Lim’s experience has been nothing but encouraging. He has never worked for an organization that provided so many resources that help employees advance in their career.

Robert Murray kept watch for a job opportunity with Kaiser Permanente, while seeing his wife, a Registered Nurse, being treated well as an employee. Working for the Technology Risk Office, Murray is working on writing scripts that will allow for automated processes that do not require any human intervention to make them work. Everyone has been a source of encouragement for him. Meeting with his boss once a week and receiving a wealth of knowledge from his mentor has made this nothing but a positive experience.

Overall, coming into a large organization like Kaiser Permanente can be overwhelming for early career professionals. The encouragement and support experienced employees give proves to be an essential ingredient in their recipe for success. Working for Kaiser Permanente brings ample opportunities for all its employees, but we all were new at one point. Never forget to lend a hand and be patient with new employees. Their passion for Kaiser Permanente starts with us.

Oakland Back-to-School Supply Drive: Help Make an Impact this School Year!

Oakland Back to School Supply Drive

There are only two days left to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers in the Oakland Community. Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit and genKP are partnering to make a difference this school year by supporting the Oakland Schools Foundation and their school supplies campaign. In order to make the biggest impact, we are focusing our efforts on gathering the following supplies that are of greatest need:
· Hand sanitizer (12-18 oz bottle pump)
· Dry erase markers (thin, low odor, pack of 4-6)
· Scotch tape (refill rolls, not dispensers)
· Glue sticks
· Facial tissue

Drop off any of the above listed items by Wednesday, October 9 to your nearest school supplies bin in the following Kaiser Permanente locations in downtown Oakland:



Questions? Contact, your genKP community benefit lead.

Thank you