Humans of genKP Series: Part V - Special Edition

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Cyn Lubow, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Filmmaker

By: Kimberly Zhong and Albert Huang

      A team of interns had the opportunity to interview Cyn Lubow, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Filmmaker, whose movie will be screened tonight at a NCAL genKP event. As a lesbian mother of two, Cyn was inspired to make her first film after experiencing her oldest son leaving home for the first time. During our interview, she described a child moving to college as the “The Fifth Stage of Labor,” where mothers endure bittersweet emotions as they watch their kids become independent. The film was about this delicate stage in a mother’s life.

      After all the wonderful experiences creating her first film, she decided to try her hand at creating a documentary, and started off with, “A Womb of Their Own.” Inspired by the great strides the transgender community had made, Cyn decided to shed light on gender non-normativity. “A lot has happened in the last 3 years—Caitlyn Jenner, Lavern Cox,” she explains, “but there are a lot of people left out; my hypothesis is that there were people who didn’t fit… didn’t fit in either of the two boxes of male or female. What if they wanted to wear a dress or a skirt and a beard? How are gender and sexual preference connected or not connected?” This is when Cyn decided to focus on pregnancy with masculine-identifying individuals: “pregnancy is such a sacred female experience in our culture, in anyone’s culture. What if I found individuals who identified in a masculine way, but also wanted to get pregnant?”

      But the journey wasn’t easy—finding subjects for example: “I certainly didn’t envision everything I ended up with. First of all—I didn’t know who my subjects were going to be.” However, Cyn Lubow networked her all around the country—talking to everyone she knew, talking to people who knew somebody who knew somebody... She even searched online on pregnant men. Her endeavors were well worth the effort, as her documentary features 6 diverse individuals on their journey through pregnancy. Drawing on her psychotherapist background, Cyn would “ask them questions, almost similar to how [she] would ask in a therapy session as a therapist. I was hoping that it would be therapeutic for the people I was talking to, and also therapeutic for the people watching the film.”

      KP Pride and genKP are partnering to screen Cyn Lubow’s feature documentary film: A Womb of Their Own on Movie Night August 11th. Join us as we follow these subjects who experience their gender different than simply male or female. As Cyn reminds us, “Whatever you are, there is room for it, and there should be a celebration for it.”


Humans of genKP Series: Part IV

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Cynthia Bui, Operations Lead

By: Antonio Lee, Digital Analytics Intern

      Today we would like to feature Cynthia V. Bui, who is a Project Manager for Health Plan Quality and a leader of the Operations Committee. Cynthia has been with Kaiser Permanente for two and a half years. What inspired her was Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve healthcare for individuals and communities and most importantly focus on preventative health. As a millennial, it is important for her to work in a company that is planning for the future in a positive way.

      When Cynthia joined Kaiser, she sought out a networking system that would allow her to be involved with more Kaiser Employees that were in the same or similar professional development timeline as her. She initially joined Events Subcommittee because of her interest in planning and executions of events that gather people together to learn and grow. Eventually, the position became the Operations Committee, as planning event wasn’t the only thing on the agenda and additional goals were added to inspire new members. It was great for her because she became a leader because she was motivated by other genKP leaders with their contribution to the program and it inspired her. She said, “Being surrounded by such smart and ambitious individuals really motivates me to be better.”  Her personal goal for the organization is to get Kaiser Employees together by any form of communication from planning events or socials to keep diversity everywhere.  Cynthia envisions genKP can lead people to communicate on the same floor where different people from diverse backgrounds share their vision together.

      Tomorrow, August 11th, genKP and KP Pride will be hosting a Movie Night showcasing “A Womb of Their Own”. The film shares the lives of transgender individuals as they go through pregnancy and breaking traditional boundaries. Cynthia mentions that communication is important and learning that about different culture and lifestyles will greatly improve understanding. Please join us for the film tomorrow!


Humans of genKP Series: Part III

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Deah Renslow, Operations Lead

By: Sam Ahn, Project Management Intern in National Medicare Administration


      Ever wondered who’s behind genKP’s action? Today we present genKP’s Operations Lead, Deah Renslow. As the operation lead, Deah manages the organization’s resources, develops strategies to meet genKP’s goals, and helps carry out genKP’s activities. Outside genKP, she works as a Managing Consultant. She joined Kaiser Permanente two and a half years ago and she’s proud to say that genKP is the most fun and challenging thing she’s done at Kaiser Permanente.

      Deah still vividly remembers the first time she came across genKP. She was passing by the office of Oscar Bolanos when a poster with young smiling faces caught her eye. They looked like the young faces of Kaiser Permanente who were making an impact. She felt that it was a group she could relate to and identify with. After hearing about genKP from Oscar, she became part of the group. Her experience so far has been great. One of the reasons why she loves the organization is the people. She says, “The people are simply amazing. They literally do whatever they can to help you immediately with whatever they can.” She added, “genKP really is a collaborative community. I think anybody can benefit from the group. The most important thing is to just do it. Just come to a meeting or take a look at the genKP website. There are things you probably didn’t even know existed. People at genKP are so happy they’ve done it. So put yourself out there and don’t limit yourself.” 

      This upcoming Thursday, on August 11th, genKP and KP Pride will be hosting a Movie Night showcasing “A Womb of Their Own”. The film explores the complexity of gender through the apparent contradiction of masculine identity and pregnancy. As Deah said, come out to the event and meet other genKP members! It just might turn out to be the best decision you’ve made at Kaiser Permanente.


Humans of genKP Series: Part II

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Amanda Medina, genKP Community Benefit Coach

By: Kimberly Zhong, Data Strategy Operations Intern in National Pricing Solutions

      We have now been introduced to NCAL’s Regional Champion, and today we’d like to present another key individual in genKP—Amanda Medina. A Process Manager/Strategy Consultant for Corporate Strategy and Transformation, Amanda has been with Kaiser Permanente for 4 years and active with genKP for 3 years. She serves as the Community Benefit Coach, making sure membership is involved with the surrounding communities. Amanda initially joined the organization because she was drawn towards the ambitious bunch of people. She continued on to elaborate on the diverse connections she has created—with seasoned leaders and up-and-coming talent alike.

      Throughout her interview, a key theme of community was constantly highlighted. Amanda Medina started off in KP with community and government relations, and has since then moved into the strategic role which she holds today. However, she still finds herself “wanting to give back into the community works somehow.” Luckily, her position in genKP allows her an outlet to do just that. She reminds us that, though sometimes “we may get really busy in our lives and forget to give back to our communities, it is important that we remain involved.” That’s why she is so passionate about genKP’s mission—“if all 2200 members donated just 1 or 2 hours of their time, imagine the impact it could make in the community.” Amanda Medina also pushes us to thrive—living life to its fullest, aiming for good health and happiness. Furthermore, it is important to remember to thrive not only on an individual-level, but on a community-level as well. She elaborates, “I think that’s why Kaiser Permanente is so great, because we do so much to give back to the community. KP is planning billions of dollars to give back to the communities between now and 2019. It makes a big difference.”

      Join genKP and KP Pride on August 11th, during a Movie Night showcasing “A Womb of Their Own.” The documentary-style film follows transgender individuals as they navigate through pregnancy and the difficulties in breaking the boundaries of traditional binary definitions for gender. Amanda Medina reminds us of the importance of community—to break out from individual-centered mindsets and give back and serve our community instead.


Humans of genKP Series: Part I

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Shanna Grier, NCAL Regional Champion

By: Elena Pereira, Finance Intern in Health Plan Operations


      I had the opportunity to interview Shanna Grier, who is a Business Operations Analyst and a genKP NCAL Regional Champion. Shanna became a genKP leader because she saw firsthand, through a millennial perspective, the impact it can have and now strives to have it leave an imprint on every MOB and Medical center in Northern California. She has been with KP for two years now but, was initially drawn to it because of the values it embodies and its dedicated service to the community.

      In the interview, Shanna shared a story showing the importance of recognizing self-worth and self-advocacy. She explained that joining KP posed a number of challenges however, the biggest was making herself believe that she belonged. Her background, life story, and perspective varied greatly from that of her peers, making her feel like an outsider and holder her back from contributing her best work. She began to realize her worth when her manager at the time asked why she wasn’t offering her input then, without waiting for a response told her, “You belong here and you have to trust me enough to know I chose you for a reason.” In that pivotal moment, her self-doubt began to melt away. Because of what she learned, she wanted to share the following sentiment with the younger generation: “Believe in yourself even if nobody else does. Advocate for you whole-heartedly and trust that you’re on your path for a reason.”

      On August 11th, genKP and KP Pride will be hosting a Movie Night that will show a film documenting masculine-identifying people’s journey through pregnancy. The movie shares the stories of people who have broken boundaries and faced challenges in order to thrive. Shanna’s message about self-advocacy is important for everyone who’s had to break down barriers, be it in their mind, in the work place, or in gender roles, because everyone deserves to feel that they belong.