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 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/2014-community-benefit-summit/

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 kpwalk.com or everybodywalk.org.


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!