South San Francisco, CA April 19, 2016 Submitted by Joe Fragola, Kaiser Permanente
Residents of Santa Cruz County will soon have access to Kaiser Permanente’s unique blend of high quality, affordable health care and award-winning coverage. The Oakland-based nonprofit expects to expand into the Santa Cruz area beginning in January, 2017.
The Santa Cruz area is a natural fit for Kaiser Permanente, which already has more than 5,800 members who live in the area and work in one of the health care provider’s existing service areas. In addition, over 500 Kaiser Permanente employees already live in the local communities.
“We are excited to begin bringing our high-quality care and service to the people of Santa Cruz County,” said Gregory A. Adams, group president and regional president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan in Northern California. “Kaiser Permanente has been keeping our members healthy throughout Northern California for 70 years.”
Pending regulatory approval, Kaiser Permanente will begin offering commercial and Covered California coverage and care effective January 1, 2017.
By next January, Kaiser Permanente plans to open three medical office buildings located at Crossroads Center in Watsonville, downtown Santa Cruz, and the Granite Creek Business Center in Scotts Valley. Renovations will soon be underway to convert the properties into the welcoming, integrated, convenient medical office building environments that Kaiser Permanente members expect. All three medical office buildings will provide primary care and the Watsonville and Scotts Valley facilities will also feature some specialty services. In addition, all three facilities will offer technology that will facilitate telemedicine visits. The offices in Watsonville and Scotts Valley will also feature laboratory, pharmacy and radiology services.
Santa Cruz members will have access to the full range of health care benefits Kaiser Permanente is known for. Local hospital services and inpatient care will be provided by Watsonville Community Hospital as well as at nearby Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Santa Clara and San Jose.
“We are pleased to be selected as Kaiser Permanente’s plan hospital for the Santa Cruz area,” said Audra Earle, CEO of Watsonville Community Hospital. “We have been caring for this community for over 100 years and look forward to providing high quality care to Kaiser Permanente members.”
Over time, Kaiser Permanente plans to continue to expand in Santa Cruz County based on the needs of the community and its members.
“We are national leaders in providing high quality medical care for our patients,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. “Our physicians trained at the best programs in the nation, and they offer their patients highly personalized health care in the most technologically advanced ways possible. The result is we are leaders in prevention, chronic disease management and cutting edge surgical and medical interventions.”
Kaiser Permanente first signaled its interest in becoming part of the Santa Cruz community when it obtained naming rights for the local basketball arena in 2012. Through Kaiser Permanente’s partnership with the Santa Cruz Warriors, during the 2015-2016 season more than 6,000 students at nine local schools participated in programs designed to encourage literacy and math skills.
“Part of Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Irene Chavez, senior vice president and area manager. “Kaiser Permanente has a long history of working with local schools, nonprofits, community partners and the health care safety net to identify community needs and we look forward to continuing to build strong partnerships with the Santa Cruz community.”
Follow Kaiser Permanente in Santa Cruz on Twitter at @KPSantaCruz.