Kaiser Permanente has been providing care for San Franciscans since 1948 when it opened a 35-bed hospital in the Potrero Hill area. Six years later, Kaiser Permanente opened the current facility on Geary Boulevard. With its new state-of-the-art medical office building in Mission Bay, Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to making that care as accessible as possible. Read more in our Partner Spotlight with Kaiser Permanente’s Randy Wittorp, Director of Public Affairs.
What drew Kaiser Permanente to build its newest facilities in Mission Bay?
Our services had been concentrated on Geary Boulevard so we’d been looking to expand for many years. We chose the Mission Bay neighborhood because of the tremendous growth in the east side of San Francisco. Our new facility offers convenience to people who live or work near downtown, SOMA, the Mission, and Potrero Hill.
Mission Bay was also an opportunity to create a new, warm, and inviting facility. We paid a lot of attention to the environment of care, and there was a big investment in art. Every floor has a large mural of a San Francisco neighborhood painted by local artist, Anthony Holdsworth.
Describe some of the ways you were able to be energy efficient in your new facilities?
We’re doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint and we have a goal to become carbon neutral. We’ve been installing solar panels on our facilities all across Northern California, and with any new facilities, we build the greenest possible options that are both energy- and water-efficient. We’re very proud that Mission Bay was Kaiser Permanente’s first facility to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the highest possible—for its sustainability and environmentally conscious design.
Energy usage is among the biggest challenges because hospitals are open 24/7, 365 days a year, so we do everything we can to reduce the electrical consumption of lighting, reduce heat loss from the facility, and design in a way that takes advantage of natural light.
How does Kaiser Permanente give back to the San Francisco community?
We have a lot of ongoing partnerships, in part thanks to our membership with the Chamber. We’ve supported the new San Francisco General Hospital with a $5 million donation to help purchase equipment, and we’re also long-time supporters of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, both through grants and sharing best practices. Kaiser Permanente also continues to offer health care to San Franciscans in need through Healthy San Francisco, the City’s universal health care program. We work hard to support San Francisco’s safety network and make health care as accessible as possible.
How does Kaiser Permanente support a diverse workforce?
We make a conscious effort to reflect the patient population that we serve. Kaiser Permanente ranked No. 1 on DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity®; in 2015 we were No. 2.
We also invest a lot in culturally competent care. Depending on a person’s gender, orientation, or background, they may have different beliefs and needs involving their health. Our diverse workforce brings those perspectives into the care we provide to our patients.
How has being a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce helped Kaiser Permanente?
The Chamber offers us insight into what’s happening in the City that impacts, or has the potential to impact, the business community. It’s so important for us that San Francisco is a vibrant community where businesses can grow, schools are strong, and diversity is supported. Every company in San Francisco should get involved in the community in some way, and each needs to do its part to make this a better and stronger city. Imagine what an amazing city it would be if every company becomes involved in those efforts.