Photo Friday: Sustainable Washington, DC USA

Yesterday, we had the great honor at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) to host Washington, DC’s Mayor (@MayorVinceGray) for a special signing:

On October 23, 2014, Mayor Gray will host a signing ceremony for the Sustainable DC Healthcare Sector Pledge at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health.

The Mayor will be joined by over twenty healthcare sector leaders, hospital and clinic system CEOs, in signing the pledge that will create a resource and idea-sharing working group that meets quarterly to advance sustainability goals. This is the fourth in a series of sector pledges initiated by Sustainable DC, following the Colleges and Universities Sustainability Pledge, the Diplomatic Institution Sustainability Pledge, and the DC Smarter Business Challenge.

Truth be told, we asked to host it, as soon as we learned it was being put together. I read the plan back in 2013 and I agree with the Mayor’s comment that the DC Sustainability plan (@SustainDC) is the most comprehensive in the United States (Now Reading: The Sustainable DC Plan | Ted Eytan, MD). Why? Because it’s not just about the environment, it’s about everything that goes into creating an ‘equiitable,prosperous, society.’

Here are our opening remarks, given in partnership with Keith Montgomery, the Executive Director of the Center for Total Health (@KMontgomeryNDC):

Hi, I’m Ted. (Hi, I’m Keith)
I’m the Physician Director here. (and I’m the Executive Director here)

Welcome to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. Our name stands for the idea that health is more than excellent medical care, it’s the well being of people, in a healthy community and a healthy environment. AND, doctors, nurses, and health professionals shouldn’t be part of a sector that participates in health, it should lead society in total health, and sustainability is a health issue.

It’s in our DNA. Henry J. Kaiser, our founder, built the first steel mill west of the Rockies in 1942 and ordered it to be the cleanest in the United States. 60 years later, we’ve established a goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

In this region, Kaiser Permanente has purchased renewable energy certificates for 100% of the annual electricity needs of our facilities in Washington, DC, which reduces 16,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Our environmental stewardship work extends to food, with $3M in food-activities in the District, supporting school yard gardens, school salad bars, and universal school breakfast, to name a few things. And one very local impact, the metropolitan branch trail, to your right, provides safe physical activity and access to seven Metro Stations, and was built out with a significant investment by Kaiser Permanente.

As a DC resident, I see the commitment of our Mayor every day on my walk to work all the way from Dupont Circle. Our city is a model for a place that’s safer, greener, and a more loving place for all human beings. And, I have seen it personally in the many places he goes to be with people and empower them to be their best.

We Look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and with the District Government on this important initiative.

Please join us in welcoming the Honorable Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia.

I have so many photographs to show our city’s commitment to the future. These are just a few:

I’ve clipped out a few pages from the plan to get a sense of what it covers. I’m proud to say I am car-less, purchase renewable energy certificates, work for an organization that does the same, and regularly celebrate the diversity of our city. It’s all related, and it’s great to be in a place where people believe it’s all related with me.

Another example of the Family Medicine Revolution (#FMRevolution)

I found out during this process that I was the bookend to the passion around this work, with the other being Denton Shanks, DO, MPH who’s a Family Medicine resident in Washington, DC at Unity Health Care, with a Master In Public Health, Global Health & Environmental Health. He’s pictured in the images below with the Mayor as well as Vincent Keane, President & CEO of Unity Health Care. Of course we’re the bookends of passion for societal health – it’s a day in the life of family medicine specialists :) .

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ILN14: NASCAR, Health Care and Hendrick Motorsports

We were allowed to take this one… (View on

I come for the innovation safaris… and to meet new amazing friends….

As part of Innovation Learning Network’s (@HealthcareILN) in person meeting, I visited Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) with colleagues, who have very little experience with NASCAR, and now that we’ve visited, we have a healthy appreciation, as can be seen from the Wikipedia entry about them:

All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at the 100-plus acre Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 550 engines are built or re-built on-site each year, with the team leasing some of those to other NASCAR outfits. Hendrick Motorsports employs over 500 people that perform many day-to-day activities. In 2009, Hendrick Motorsports made history by having three out of the five drivers finish in the top three places in the point standings (Johnson, Martin, and Gordon).

That’s just to orient people who are not familiar with who Hendrick Motorsports is. 312,000 twitter followers are :) .

Lots of takeaways:

  • The concept of team – the pit crew are the athletes here. They are on a regular workout program, monitored for their fitness, in a pretty complete gym on site.
  • The concept of accountability – we watched as precision parts were stamped with the initials of the staff who created/worked on them. Everything is traceable back to the person. When there are problems, human error is easier to manage than a problem that’s systemic to an automobile part.
  • Respect for the customer – in this case, the sponsors – the vehicle haulers are immaculate and great care / attention is given to supporting the sponsors image and reputation (you could say the analogy is the employer who sponsors an employee’s health insurance)
  • Quality control and winning – there’s a prize (a win) that results when everything is done right – a goal that makes people want to innovate and incrementalize as much as possible
  • Innovation through constraint – there are things about the NASCAR cars that are specified and must meet specification. There’s a process that is gone through to change this spec. For example, 2015 will be the first year where digital gauges will be in the cars. Right now they are analog, and there are very few allowable sensor technologies. There are 2 3D printers on site as well….

We were not allowed to take photographs in any of the production areas so we’ll just record this with our minds. The facilities were clean, orderly, and showed to my eyes a respect for the job at hand.

As usual, I saw many analogies to health care…Thanks Hendrick Motorsports for the tour and the ability to imagine how the discipline here could be applied to health care.

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Beyond disability and picturing capability: Kaiser Permanente South Bay and White House Champions of Change

When I visited Kaiser Permanente South Bay, in Harbor City, Los Angeles in July, 2014 (Innovation in Collaboration: What 18F and Kaiser Permanente South Bay have in common | Ted Eytan, MD), it was to see a different innovation than the one that brought Kaiser Permanente South Bay (@KPSouthBay) to The White House (@WhiteHouse) – Disability Employment Champions of Change (see: Disability Employment Champions Of Change | The White House).

Project Search

Kaiser Permanente South Bay is the first Kaiser Permanente site in Southern California to have the Project SEARCH program. This program partners with Best Buddies, LAUSD and the Harbor Regional Center to provide internships for young adults with developmental disabilities. The goal is to give them the work experience they need so that as they “age out” of the services that the Harbor Regional Center provides, they can secure employment and become independent, productive citizens.

The project has a blog and the commitment of Kaiser Permanente South Bay is very much appreciated by its community:

Kaiser Permanente South Bay learned that the Project SEARCH internship program has been successful elsewhere, and they were willing to take a chance on something new for their medical center. From the highest level of administration to each individual employee, they have embraced the project and the vision behind it. They have demonstrated full commitment to the process, encouraging their staff to take on new training and supervision responsibilities with young and inexperienced interns. And they have given our young interns the necessary support to make them successful.

The blog and Best Buddies web site (@BestBuddiesCA) discuss how Project Search has changed the lives of not just the interns but the medical center, which cares for a population of about 230,000 people. You can read about the success stories of the interns including Miguel Gallardo – Now Hired after his rotation through South Bay. (Miguel Gallardo – Now Hired! | South Bay Project SEARCH).

We’re so glad Robert (Bob) Blair, the Chief Administrative Officer of Kaiser Permanente South Bay made the trip to celebrate the White House Champions of Change. You know that feeling when you meet people who are leading in one area, and then you find out that’s tip of the iceberg?

As is customary, we welcome Kaiser Permanente innovators (and all staff) to “their” Center for Total Health as a stop at home when they are away from home. We also got a shot of Bob in front of the other home he was invited to visit :) .

Thanks for leading in inclusion, innovation, collaboration, culture of caring, for your members, staff, nurses, doctors, Kaiser Permanente South Bay. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of you in the near future …

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Standing on the Right Side of History with Ruby Corado, David Walker, Mayor Vince Gray, Washington, DC USA

Right after he walked Ruby Corado (@CasaRubyDC), down the aisle, Washington, DC, Mayor Vince Gray (@MayorVinceGray),  was talking with us about his work to create equal health and opportunity for our residents who are transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual: “You’ve got to stand on the right side of history.”

I remember a time when the medical profession had the chance to stand on the right side of history, and it didn’t take the chance. That was the 20th century. This is the 21st. An honor to be your best man and share a community with the most important human leaders of our time.

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Just Read: Kaiser Permanente is a Health System Leading the Way: 2014 Healthcare Equality Index

The 2014 report, published by the Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) is out today, and Kaiser Permanente is acknowledged first in a special section, “Health Systems Leading the Way”

Over the past five years, Kaiser Permanente has consistently achieved leader status for all of its hospitals and once again, in 2014, all 38 medical centers are HEI Leaders in Healthcare Equality.

In 2010, Kaiser Permanente was the first health care provider and hospital system that the Human Rights Campaign designated as a leader in LGBT health care equality. For the past five years, Kaiser Permanente has consistently achieved leader status for all of its hospitals. We have also achieved a perfect 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index (see: Positive Exemplars: At the 2014 Corporate Equality Index Awards for LGBT Employment – New York City | Ted Eytan, MD)

A quick comment from someone working and living in the community: The two indices (HEI and CEI) are currently not aligned, which means that respectful care and coverage for people who are transgender are not yet fully supported across the HRC index spectrum. At the same time, the HEI is becoming more robust, and this is the first time that all of Kaiser Permanente’s 38 hospitals are recognized for achieving the core 4. Congratulations and thank you to our National Diversity and Inclusion Team for being a mentor and supporter to me and all of our members, nurses, staff, and physicians.

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Women’s Wednesday: Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC

A pleasure to host a healthy and productive women’s community at the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) in conjunction with The Chamber (@DCLGBTBIZ). The courage of Rosie the Riveter and her colleagues continue to inspire (see: Photo Friday: Yes they could shatter glass ceilings. Meeting the women of the Kaiser shipyards | Ted Eytan, MD to read about their amazing visit to us this year)

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Design Sprint is the new Hackathon: Wearables in Health Care at Center for Total Health

The subject line says it all.

In collaboration with Wearables Northeast (@WearablesNE) & Don Schwartz, Georgetown School of Medicine and one of its physicians-of-the-future Konstantin Karmazin (@zenkkarma), and Silica Labs (@silicalabs) Antonio Zugaldia (@zugaldia).

We decided to move away from the hack-a/code-a thon concept and toward something that was less about competition (and therefore more accessible to a wider diversity of people), more about learning and collaborating. When I deconstruct all the code-a-thons I have been to, the most important takeaway for me has been the collaboration aspect, so why not emphasize that instead.

You can learn more about design sprints here The product design sprint: a five-day recipe for startups | Google Ventures – we did ours in a few hours instead of 5 days.

It was also interesting to host an event about wearable devices 15 months after the debut of Google Glass (can’t believe it’s only been that long). I’m sure Glass will be an important chapter in our computing history.

Photos below, enjoy.

Of course must thank the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) team + the California-based Kaiser Permanente Digital Health (@KPDigitalHealth) Innovation team, and super awesome Interchange team: including Faye Sahai (@fsahai), Roger Lam, Sean Chai, Angus Hui, Marc Leong. Who did I miss? Add in the comments, so glad we get to be part of the same innovation system :) .

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