Kaiser lays out public health agenda

Kaiser Permanente is aiming to strengthen the nation's public health system through three new initiatives, the Oakland, Calif.-based system said March 29. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many shortcomings of U.S. public healthcare, including an underfunded and disparate infrastructure, a shrinking workforce and growing distrust in health institutions, according to Kaiser. 

To address these issues, the health system outlined a shared public health agenda that focuses on three main areas: 

1. Healthcare delivery. Kaiser is working with AHIP, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association to ensure health systems and public health systems have the tools, education and working relationships needed to effectively collaborate during health crises. 

2. Community-based organizations. The health system is also partnering with the CDC Foundation to identify and share best practices for maintaining strong connections between public health organizations and community organizations. 

3. Research. Kaiser is supporting AcademyHealth to develop a new public health research strategy that offers more evidence about the effectiveness of public health services and gleans insights on how best to deliver them. 

"We believe the healthcare industry must come together to write a playbook with our public health partners to make our system more resilient and responsive to the needs of our communities," Kaiser Chair and CEO Greg Adams said in a news release. "We must work together; we must define our mutual roles; and we must ensure that the public health system will be fully successful in its mission to improve the health and well-being of all people."

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