Community health initiatives
Kaiser Permanente has invested $1.7 million in Future Baltimore, a community health partnership with Bon Secours Community Works aimed at addressing the social, economic and health needs of Baltimore residents living in the 21223 ZIP code.
The partnership is implementing nine programs, including job training for certified nursing assistants and geriatric nursing assistants; a social support and workforce program for returning residents; a small business incubator; the home delivery of healthy, locally grown food; mental health screenings; first responder training; and mental health and social service programs in elementary schools.
The centerpiece of the collaboration is the renovation of an abandoned library one block south of Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital at 31 S. Payson St. The property will be transformed into a community resource center for the program. About $3.9 million has already been raised for the renovations.
The program is reporting other strong results, including 15 small businesses in the incubator; 50 people enrolled in the nursing program with an 84% job placement success rate; and more than 700 mental health screenings and referrals completed.
Kaiser Permanente has two other community health projects in Baltimore.
Good Health and Great Care, which started in 2016, offers no-cost clinical and social services in four beauty salons and barber shops in West Baltimore. Health services include flu shots, blood pressure tests, HIV/AIDS testing and diabetes screenings. Other support services include financial assistance, health-care coverage, nutrition advice and fitness classes. The program served almost 2,000 people in the last quarter of 2018 and expects to serve 3,000 residents in 2019.
Kaiser Permanente is the lead sponsor for the second year in a row of the Inner City Capital Connections program, which provides training, education and mentorship at no charge to small and medium-sized businesses of all diverse backgrounds. The program worked with 78 small businesses in 2018 — 82% were minority-owned and 53% were women-owned. The program expects to work with more than 80 businesses in 2019.