|Susan Reines, MD|
|James Toth, MD|
Atlanta, GA (January 23, 2012) — Each year, Kaiser Permanente recognizes individuals and groups, from within its own ranks, who have made extraordinary efforts to improve the health of communities. Two physicians from The Southeast Permanente Medical Group are among 15 recipients of the 2011 David Lawrence Community Service Award (DLCSA). Each will receive a $10,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente to support their community service initiatives.
Susan Reines, M.D., a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Panola, Stonecrest and Conyers medical centers, is being honored for her work with one of metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable populations—child refugees. Reines is the driving force behind the Refugee Pediatric Clinic at the DeKalb County Board of Health clinic, which she helped establish after a local clinic serving child refugees closed its doors.
Many of Reines’ patients were deprived of health care in their native countries and, as a result, have neglected serious medical conditions. The Pediatric Refugee Clinic’s staff reflects the diversity of its patients and translators are available on-site. From providing transportation to and from appointments to delivering prescriptions to patients’ homes, Reines and her team go above and beyond the call of duty to care for their patients. In addition to meeting their health care needs, Reines is promoting literacy among young refugees by donating new books to her patients through the Reach Out and Read program.
James Toth, M.D., who specializes in ambulatory medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Sugar Hill-Buford Medical Center, is being honored for more than a decade of community service abroad. Long before the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Toth was making medical mission trips to the poverty-stricken country. After realizing that many people in the rural town of Hinche could not receive health care due to the local hospital’s pre-pay policy, Toth helped establish the Whitney Clinic with his church.
Toth serves as the medical director of the year-round clinic, which provides free or low-cost primary, pediatric and dental care to thousands of Haitians. He travels to the clinic 2-3 times a year, often accompanied by other physicians he has encouraged to volunteer. From teaching parents how to feed babies born with cleft palates to treating malnourished, diabetic and hypertensive patients, Toth is committed to improving the health of the Haitian population. The clinic has established programs to address malnutrition, cholera, contaminated drinking water and homelessness.
Toth and Reines were selected from 180 DLSCA nominees in Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions. “This distinction reflects the exemplary work of Drs. Susan Reines and James Toth in the community, “ said Rob Schreiner, M.D., executive medical director of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group. “Their dedication to serving not only Kaiser Permanente members, but also underserved populations in metro Atlanta and beyond is an inspiration to us all.”
To learn more about the DLCSA, visit the National Volunteer Recognition and Awards page on the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Web site.
March 13, 2012 (Atlanta, GA) — For the third consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia ranks highest in member satisfaction in the South Atlantic region, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Member Health Insurance Plan StudySM released today. The South Atlantic region comprises Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Earning a total of 770 points on a 1,000-point scale, Kaiser Permanente scored 66 points above the South Atlantic region’s average. Performing well in the information and communication category, Kaiser Permanente also received the region’s highest scores in customer service, coverage and benefits, claims processing and statements.
“We are honored that our commitment to excellent customer service was recognized again by our members,” said Kerry W. Kohnen, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “We are particularly pleased that we garnered the highest scores in customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power study when measured against other health plans in our region.”
Kaiser Permanente’s health plan services are complemented by health care delivery in-person, online and by phone. With easy-to-use, Web-based tools, all members have access to useful information, medical records and tools to communicate with their providers. My Health Manager on kp.org gives registered members the ability to perform important tasks online such as scheduling appointments and ordering prescription refills. Users also have 24/7 online access to lab test results, eligibility and benefits information, and even their children’s immunization records. In addition, all Kaiser Permanente physicians routinely use an electronic health record when caring for their patients in medical offices and hospitals.
“Open lines of communication are a hallmark of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model," said Rob Schreiner, M.D., executive medical director of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “Not only are our health care teams working together to coordinate patient care, but that connectivity extends to our members. From accessing personal health information online to securely emailing your doctor from your mobile phone, the connectivity we provide creates a better care experience."
Now in its sixth year, the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM measures member satisfaction among 141 health plans in 17 regions throughout the United States by examining seven key factors that each represent a distinct part of the member experience: coverage and benefits; provider choice; information and communication; claims processing; statements; customer service; and approval processes.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of the McGraw-Hill Companies.
About Kaiser Permanente of Georgia
Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest not-for-profit health plan. Its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 240,000 members in a 28-county service area in metro-Atlanta with care focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of heath care providers. Expert and caring medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Nationally, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers, serving more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.kp.org.
This new video, featuring members of the Kaiser Permanente of Georgia Breast Care Team, takes a look at our coordinated approach to care. When a member receives a cancer diagnosis, a multidisciplinary team helps guide them through the process every step of the way.
Atlanta, GA (May 11, 2012) — Kaiser Permanente of Georgia recently completed a $47 million expansion to its Kennesaw location, creating space for specialty and advanced care services. The Kaiser Permanente TownPark Comprehensive Medical Center (CMC), which also created 100 new jobs, is now open to members.
“Our members can now come to one location, whether they need a routine check-up, specialty care, or rapid treatment for conditions such as chest and abdominal pain, shortness of breath, strains, breaks and lacerations,” said Rob Schreiner, M.D., executive medical director of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “The Town Park CMC’s Advanced Care Center is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians who are trained to provide high-level diagnostic and therapeutic care, but we do not intend to direct major trauma or heart attacks to this center.”
For members who need emergency or inpatient hospital care, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia will continue to partner with leading hospitals in metro Atlanta.
“The TownPark CMC’s Advanced Care Center, which is open 24/7/365, supports our goals of providing members with high-quality health care that is coordinated, convenient and affordable,” said Kerry W. Kohnen, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “When you need medical care right away, but don’t need to go the ER, it’s comforting to know that there is a better option. In the Advanced Care Center, our members can receive care quickly—in a relaxed environment—by doctors who have access to their complete medical history.”
Kaiser Permanente added 78,000 square feet to its existing facility at 750 TownPark Lane in Kennesaw to create the TownPark CMC. The facility, which already offered internal medicine, pediatrics/adolescent medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and behavioral health services, added five new specialties. Those specialties include cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, pulmonology, as well as oncology and infusion. Pharmacy, laboratory, and high-end imaging and diagnostic services are also available on-site.
To support Kaiser Permanente’s expansion throughout metro Atlanta, The Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG), which provides care exclusively for Kaiser Permanente members, has added more than 100 physicians in the past two years and plans to continue growing through 2014.
Since late 2009, Kaiser Permanente has opened 12 new medical offices in Georgia. The organization has plans to expand facilities in other metro Atlanta communities.
About Kaiser Permanente of Georgia
Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest not-for-profit health plan. Its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 240,000 members in a 28-county service area in metro Atlanta with care focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of heath care providers. Expert and caring medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Nationally, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers, serving approximately 8.9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.kp.org.
The Kaiser Permanente TownPark Advanced Care Center / Clinical Decision Unit (ACC/CDU) in Kennesaw is garnering rave reviews from members across the Atlanta area.
Since it opened on May 1, more than 2,700 Kaiser Permanente members have been treated in the ACC. Approximately 170 were transferred to the CDU for additional treatment or testing and 3.3% were moved to other facilities.
The center has seen a wide variety of conditions, from low acuity cuts and scratches to more serious conditions such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrythmia, stroke, pneumonia, and specialty cases including ENT, gynecology and others.
“The ACC/CDU is filling the niche it was designed to address – conditions that are a little too much for an Urgent Care center, but that don’t need a full emergency room,” said Peter King, MD, Physician Director of Acute Care Services. “Also, being able to treat members in our CDU has prevented hospital admission for about 20 patients each week.”
According to the ACC/CDU staff, Kaiser Permanente members appreciate that they receive such fast, high-quality care from KP clinicians and staff. Members who previously visited an outside ER say they are most impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the TownPark team.
One member was especially impressed that the ACC staff could access their full medical record in KP HealthConnect.
“Normally, I would have spent many hours waiting in the ER, just to see a doctor who doesn’t know anything about me. Here, they know who I am because all of my records are online, and they treat me like family.”
The ability to quickly access patient records for members who visit the ACC is a significant benefit for the health care team.
“Having their information in KP HealthConnect helps us improve patient care,” said Larry Bartel, MD, lead CDU physician. “Patients appreciate not having to repeat all of their information and fill out forms, and they are diagnosed more accurately and treated faster than if they were in a non-KP facility. It makes a real difference in their overall experience.”
Members of the TownPark staff, most of whom joined KP after extensive experience in Kaiser Permanente urgent care operations and outside Emergency Rooms, say that the facility exceeds their expectations. According to Dr. King and Alison Wiebe, senior director of the ACC/CDU, workforce satisfaction is very high in spite of the predicted stresses of opening a new unit. As word spreads in the medical community, nurses and physicians are inquiring about employment opportunities.
“It’s such a wonderful facility, clearly designed to assist us in delivering high-quality care,” said Wendy Cox, RN ACC/CDU supervisor. “It’s so bright and open and welcoming, unlike many emergency rooms or urgent care centers. The environment makes such a difference in how patients feel about their care, and this is a home run.”