Local and National Diversity Programs

At Kaiser Permanente, we value the rich diversity of our organization and always aspire to demonstrate respect for the uniqueness of each individual. We encourage an open, inclusive environment that supports and empowers our employees.

Learn about the programs that are helping us build on our culture of respect:

Colorado Diversity Program

Kaiser Permanente Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, in collaboration with the recently reorganized Regional Diversity Governance Council, has developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Diversity that will guide our diversity priorities in the coming years. Included are efforts to: 

  • Provide care and service to our patients and members in a culturally and linguistically sensitive and appropriate manner for the purpose of affecting the elimination of health disparities
  • Create a diverse workforce that mirrors the populations that we serve, while furthering the development of linguistic and culturally responsive care
  • Fill applicable diversity requirements and guidelines, including mandatory and voluntary governmental regulations and/or accrediting body standards       
  • Grow our membership through effective market segmentation approaches that target specific populations which are the fastest growing segments of our society
  • Improve the health of and enhance our ties to the communities we serve
  • Develop more accessible pathways for care to all communities

The region’s award-winning Language Resource Center has made significant strides to provide interpretation and translation services to the region, helping to close the linguistic and cultural gap that many of our limited English proficient patients and members experience.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado boasts the community and company outreach efforts through eight Business Resource Groups, who engage with diverse communities, develop talent internally, and help identify and educate on health care disparities that communities may be facing. Our eight Business Resource Groups are:

  • African-American
  • GenKP (focusing on generational differences)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • KP Pride (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)
  • Native-American
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Veteran

To support diversity, cultural competence, and health equity efforts, we offer educational opportunities, as well as consulting services to our employees and physicians. Included is a core, foundational, diversity workshop called “Let’s Talk Diversity.” For our providers, we offer the “Bias Impacts in Health Care” workshop, and a host of web-based learning modules. Monthly, the regional Equitable Care Cultural Sensitivity Council explores strategies that increase cultural sensitivity and integrate health equity; innovations include an online Resource Portal for providers; and annually the organization sponsors the National Diversity and Inclusion Conference, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2017.

These represent a sampling of the many diversity initiatives underway in the region, and are a source of considerable organizational pride as we continually seek ways to create a more inclusive workplace and clinical environments for our workforce and members.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado continues to push additional innovative diversity and culturally competent care initiatives, while focusing on strategic business alignment of our diversity efforts led by the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. These efforts will extend Kaiser Permanente’s leadership in diversity and Cultural Competence throughout the health care industry, and positively differentiate us in the marketplace.

National Diversity & Inclusion Program

The National Diversity & Inclusion Program is our program-wide effort to advance our National Diversity Agenda. The development of Diversity Program initiatives is the shared responsibility of the National Diversity Council, the National Diversity Department, regional and local diversity councils and departments, and regional Business Resource Groups.

Kaiser Permanente serves one of the most culturally diverse communities in the world. Our members speak more than 80 different languages and each language represents a race, ethnicity, or culture with unique beliefs, values, traditions, and behaviors. Our goal is to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care across the spectrum of our diverse membership.

Culturally Competent Care

Our longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion includes both the development of a diverse workforce and the delivery of culturally competent care to our members.

Under the direction of our National Diversity Council, Kaiser Permanente has played an important role in advancing culturally competent care - health care that acknowledges cultural diversity in the clinical setting, respects members' beliefs and practices, and ensures that cultural needs are considered and respected at every point of contact.

At the same time, we are committed to creating a workforce with a high level of cultural competence and the language skills needed to help eliminate cultural barriers to communication. The diversity of our workforce allows us to provide personalized services to the many diverse individuals within the communities that we serve.

Our goal is to enhance the diversity of our workforce and to provide culturally competent care and culturally appropriate services to improve the health and satisfaction of our membership. In order for Kaiser Permanente to be premier as an organization, we must embrace diversity -- to enhance, celebrate, and learn from it. Our diversity is also our strength.

Student Engagement

The Colorado Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Department promotes the advancement of diversity through its service, advocacy efforts, and educational programs. We work with institutions, organizations, and community leaders to create and strengthen community partnerships to serve the health and well-being of diverse populations; develop interventions for social determinants of health and disparities; and optimize community investments.

The office supports a variety of education outreach programs by funding and managing their activities. These programs include the Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP), Arrupé Corporate Work-study Program, and the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Diversity Scholarship Program.
 
The primary goals of these programs are to enhance interest in careers related to health care and to support academic development by helping to increase the number of historically underrepresented individuals entering into health care professions for the purpose of achieving health equity among various population groups in Colorado. We believe we must work within the community to improve the educational opportunities for all students in our region.

COLORADO UNDERGRADUATE PRE-HEALTH PROGRAM: INTRODUCING THE BENEFITS OF HEALTH

The University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Inclusion and Outreach partners with Kaiser Permanente Colorado Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers within health care. Both organizations are committed to helping increase the number of historically underrepresented individuals within health care for the purpose of reducing health disparities among various population groups in Colorado. Highlights of the 13-month experience include:

  • Exposure to various facets of health care
  • Development of skills and knowledge necessary to be competitive, marketable candidates for professional schools (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, etc.)
  • Lectures, demonstration, laboratory research, and professional development courses led by distinguished professionals
  • Possible opportunities to conduct research and visit simulation labs
  • Saturday Academies throughout the school year that include an array of topics such as cultural awareness, health disparities in underserved communities, access to health care, etc.
  • Leadership training through teamwork and collaborative projects
  • Coaching and year-round assistance with school application letters and writing personal statements
  • Mock interviews and exam reviews, such as MCAT, PCAT, and GRE
  • The chance to intern alongside health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists

Program Duration & Location

Opportunities are located in Denver, Colorado, and consist of 10–12 weeks over the summer and year-round Saturday workshops for a total of 13 months.

Areas of Focus

Participants are exposed to a variety of career areas including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician’s assistance, public health, dentistry, and more!

Requirements

Selections are based on academic and professional achievement and an interest in health care professions. Additional requirements include:

  • A minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average
  • Completion of at least one year of college (24 or more credits)
  • Attending an accredited Colorado institution
  • U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Permanent Resident status
  • A background in biology, chemistry, physics, science, or math is encouraged

The Colorado undergraduate pre-health program highly encourages all qualified students that meet the requirements to apply, including students from underrepresented groups such as first-generation college attendees, low-income, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, U.S. Veterans, and ethnic minorities.

For more information, please visit http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/departments/odi/OIO/Programs/undergraduate/UPP/Pages/default.aspx.

COLORADO DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: CREATING HEALTHY FUTURES 

The Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Colorado Diversity Scholarship Program was created as a community outreach effort to provide financial assistance to diverse students pursuing an education in health care.

Scholarships are sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Colorado's Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Awards go to students of diverse populations in order to have an impact on the shortage of diverse health care professionals. The hope is that by honoring underrepresented students, gaps in the delivery of culturally responsive care and service will begin to narrow. All qualified students may apply, including those students who identify as one or more of the following: African-American, Asian/Pacific, Latino, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Native-American, U.S. Veteran, and/or as a Person with a Disability.

For more information, please call 1-877-457-4772.