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San Diego in The News

Kaiser Permanente Commits $100K to Help Remove Barriers for San Diego Communities of Color Striving to Achieve Good Health

SAN DIEGO—Jan. 18, 2021 Kaiser Permanente pledged $100K of grants this month to the San Diego-based nonprofit Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans to affirm the dignity of refugee families resettled in the greater San Diego area following humanitarian crises around the world.

"We’ve always worked on reducing inequity in our communities because we believe health care must be affordable for all — it’s a requirement for individuals, families, and communities to thrive,” said Jane Finley, senior vice president and area manager. “This initiative aligns to that effort because we’ve chosen to focus on providing grant money to uplift under-resourced communities and populations.”

Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans’ goal is to advance realistic resettlement strategies for newcomer families that support investment in their long-term economic self-sufficiency.

“Kaiser Permanente’s belief in our advocacy for refugee families in San Diego is affirming of our values and priorities,” said Ramla Sahid, executive director for the nonprofit. “We are thankful for this grant. It will help amplify our voice and mitigate refugee families from being marginalized when it comes to economic, social, & civic inclusion. This grant will also facilitate a partnership with Pillars of the Community to work directly with black immigrant and African American populations in San Diego to promote community connectedness and wellbeing.

The grant is part of the $25 million commitment Kaiser Permanente announced in June to promote health equity and break the cycle of racism-driven stresses that lead to poor health outcomes for its members and communities. This round of grants supports established community-based organizations led by people of color, addressing racial and social justice or trauma, including the lifelong impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Kaiser Permanente was one of the first health care organizations to recognize the link between trauma and health through the landmark ACEs study they conducted along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. than to remove obstacles from struggling families in our own community seeking to achieve the true meaning of being treated equally today to build a more promising tomorrow,” noted Finley.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of communities by ensuring health access, improving community conditions for health and equity, and advancing the future of community health through innovation.

Kaiser Permanente San Diego Takes Next Step in Vaccine Delivery

SAN DIEGO — Jan. 6, 2021 — Kaiser Permanente San Diego began delivering second doses of COVID-19 vaccinations this week for the first health care workers who met "Phase 1a" criteria for vaccination at their two hospital locations; the San Diego and Zion Medical Centers.

"This is a big milestone. We're encouraged by this protection for our workforce and await the arrival of additional vaccine that can be distributed per the CDC guidelines," said Dr. Michael Lalich, Kaiser Permanente San Diego's Area Medical Director. "We are committed to educating our communities about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. We want everyone to understand how getting a vaccine, along with the simple public measures already in place – wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing – will help to bring an end to this pandemic."

The hospitals are following the CDC distribution guidelines. The first group vaccinated, who are critical to maintaining health care capacity, were emergency medical service personnel working in our long-term acute care facilities, intensive care units, emergency departments, labor & delivery, and COVID units.

“This vaccine makes me feel hopeful that we’ll get everything turned around," said Sandra Ramirez, an emergency room nurse, after receiving her second dose. “In 20 years of nursing, I’ve never seen anything like this,” she noted when reflecting upon the number of people impacted by COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated can prevent individuals from contracting the virus. As important, it can also protect those around them from getting infected. Kaiser Permanente has decades of experience delivering vaccinations safely and efficiently and looks forward to getting a vaccine to all community members as supply allocations increase. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit

“I believe in the science and research of the vaccines, I did my own reading, and I trust the work done by the FDA,” remarked Ramirez. “Everyone is different, but pain-wise, the shots themselves were no big deal to me.”

Kaiser Permanente is committed to a safe, expedient, and equitable vaccination administration process. As the vaccine becomes more and more readily available, Kaiser Permanente will be working closely in partnership with public health officials to offer it to those who meet the criteria in each phase of the CDC guidelines.

Kaiser Permanente San Diego Delivers First Vaccines to Frontline Workers

SAN DIEGO — Dec. 16, 2020 — Kaiser Permanente San Diego began vaccination of frontline workers today at the Zion Medical Center, with Indalecia Ramos and Diego Varras of Environmental Services, and Merope Duffin, an Emergency Department nurse, receiving one of the first doses.

“This vaccine means a lot. I know it may seem scary, but it’s for the benefit of everyone.” said Duffin, “It’s been a very long and challenging year in the ER, and this vaccine means seeing an end to the pandemic.

The hospital is following the CDC distribution guidelines. The first group receiving the vaccine are emergency medical service personnel working in our long-term acute care facilities, intensive care units, emergency departments, labor & delivery, and COVID units. This group of care providers includes Physicians, Nurses, Phlebotomists, Respiratory Therapists, Environmental services staff, and ancillary staff required in these care environments.

“We thank the many Kaiser Permanente nurses, doctors, and other health care workers who’ve been on the frontline every day this year caring for very sick patients impacted by this pandemic. I’m glad today we’ve reached a point where we can begin vaccinating these brave health care workers in the face of this latest surge of COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Michael Lalich, Kaiser Permanente San Diego’s Area Medical Director.

As the production and distribution of vaccines become more available, Kaiser Permanente San Diego will be working closely in partnership with public health officials to prioritize vaccinations and expects to offer the vaccine to those who meet the criteria in each phase of the CDC guidelines.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to educating our members, workforce, customers, and communities about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. As well as promoting understanding of how a vaccine – coupled with continued public health measures like the wearing of masks, appropriate physical distancing, and frequent hand washing – can help control and ultimately bring about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Please call Kaiser Permanente’s dedicated vaccine hotline at 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711) to hear a recorded message with the latest COVID-19 vaccine information. Spanish is an available option.
Prevention & wellness

Kaiser Permanente San Diego is here to help you stay healthy and live your best life. There are many things you can do to take an active role in your prevention plan to stay healthy and thrive through all stages of life. Here’s a few to get you started.