Ending Health Care Disparities:Community Benefit:Kaiser Permanente

About Disparities:Ending Health Care Disparities:Community Benefit:Kaiser Permanente

Congratulations to Kaiser Permanente, both for creating a public resource about ending disparities in health care, and for using an inclusive definition of vulnerable populations:

Disparities in health and health care impact everyone. Persons most affected include African Americans, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people. Others at risk include the elderly, the homeless, intravenous drug users, substance abusers, infected persons, persons with disabilities, prisoners.


I couldn't agree more.

I confess that during my own e-odyssey this year, getting myself educated, I've tended toward making the most of what upscale straight white guys can do. I guess that's natural because it's been my own personal exploration.

But as I became oriented and started looking around, I started to notice things that people like you and the Pew Internet folks would cite: that as we conceive and design this new world, let's not forget the other "e": Everyone.

The game becomes grand fun, then, with this new challenge: transform it from tip to toe, but with the groundrule that what we create has to conform to "with noone left out."

Hey Dave, close – I have enabled globally available avatars (also called Gravatars) which work on any tool that enables them, across websites. You can create your own at gravatar.com,


Hey Dave,

I also have to tell the Internet that you were, I think, the first person I interacted on the morning after the election in California. As we walked down to Moscone Center, you made some empathetic statements that made the idea of unequal treatment of minorities not feel so bad that day. It just goes to show that you do not have to have an MD to be able to heal. George Moscone would be proud,


Your greatest impact on me has come from hearing you talk about being of service to others, as the foundation of a way of life.

When I first learned guitar (shortly after it was invented), one of the first songs I really took a liking to was Peter Paul & Mary's "If I Had Wings." My favorite verses:

If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly

The bird sings, no one asks why.

I can see in myself wings as I feel them

If you see something else, keep your thoughts to yourself,

I’ll fly free then.

How can you ask if I’m happy goin’ my way?

You might as well ask a child at play!

There’s no need to discuss or understand me

I won’t ask of myself to become something else

I’ll just be me!

Ah, the formative moments in a young teen's life.

So, denying people the opportunity to express who they are just seems absurd. What could be more uncivil? Let's instead devote our energies to being of service to others, and see how that works out.

Hello Ted

I was wondering why the list of vulnerable populations does not include the poor, although reference is made to economic disparities in the document.

I wish you all the very best with your mission,

Anne Marie

Hello Anne,

When speaking of the populations above, we are talking about disparities that continue to exist where there is economic equity. For example, we know that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals experience health disparities at all economic and educational levels, based on their minority status. This is true for many of the other vulnerable populations above. I hope that explains things, and thank you!


Ted Eytan, MD