Kaiser Permanente's 34th Annual National Diversity Conference
Kaiser Permanente’s 34th annual National Diversity Conference, the organization's signature diversity educational forum, convened in October for two days of presentations and interactive forums featuring some of the nation's top experts in a broad range of diversity and inclusion disciplines. One of the longest-recurring annual events in Kaiser Permanente, the Diversity Conference has earned a reputation as one of the best-attended and most content-rich meetings on the organization’s conference calendar. More than 1,200 in-person and WebEx attendees attended this year’s event. Organized around the theme of “Diversity Excellence: Inspiring Innovation, Igniting Transformation,” this year’s event was a combination celebration of the organization’s accomplishments in diversity and a powerful recommitment to deepening those accomplishments throughout the organization.
Keynote speakers included Chairman and CEO George Halvorson, John August, executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions; President and COO Bernard Tyson; and Jack Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation.
A special plenary session included a two-hour Fred Friendly Seminar on health care reform’s implications for the health care diversity and equity agenda, featuring a panel of internal and external experts. During the conference, a large group of senior Kaiser Permanente national and regional leaders in quality and diversity gathered for an Equity Summit, charged with setting a specific programwide goal for reducing targeted health care disparities, including hypertension control and colorectal cancer screening, among our members.
Other conference highlights included the presentation of the R.J. Erickson Diversity Achievement Awards for groups, facilities, and individuals, and a special session on Kaiser Permanente’s outstanding work on HIV/AIDS, followed by presentation of the HIV/AIDS Diversity Awards, which are given to two outstanding external organizations and an individual. Ten separate concurrent learning forums were scheduled across the first two days of the conference. The final day featured a leadership call to action and interactive discussions on Kaiser Permanente’s refreshed national diversity strategy.