The David Lawrence Community Service Awards are presented each year to recognize individuals and groups across the Kaiser Permanente regions who champion outstanding community benefit activities and initiatives demonstrating extraordinary efforts to improve the health of our communities.
“Every year it is truly an honor for me to announce and celebrate the David Lawrence Community Service Award winners,” said Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “Our winners - and the 140 who were nominated - all illustrate and prove that the greatest asset of KP is truly its people who bring so much talent, passion and innovation improving the health and wellness of Kaiser Permanente communities here and abroad.”
The 2012 winners were selected because they have shown a significant history of sustained contributions to the overall health of a community or population, but their commitment has been to important health and social issues, such as increasing access to health care for the underserved, eliminating disparities in health outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities, addressing the social determinants of health, and being strong stewards of our natural resources.
“The work the David Lawrence Community Service Award nominees and winners do defines total health,” Baxter said. “What they do doesn’t just mirror our community benefit priorities, but embodies an idea of total health by addressing mind, body and spirit. It addresses these forces and factors that shape people’s health, and it knows no borders.”
Catherine Broomand, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Due to the risks associated with poorly managed and multiple concussions in athletes, Dr. Broomand founded Kaiser Permanente’s Youth Sports Concussion Program in 2008. Working with community health care providers, she is now the President and CEO of MindGame (formerly the Sacramento Valley Concussion Care Consortium), providing baseline testing, concussion education, and access to qualified healthcare professionals to thousands of youth athletes in the greater Sacramento Valley. Dr. Broomand and her colleagues have developed a program that has been adopted as a model in other areas in California and outside the state.
Rita Puri, MD
Harbor City, CA
Over the last 25 years, Dr. Puri has funded and organized free health clinics in the Los Angeles area. By recruiting colleagues, family and friends to help her, the health clinics Dr. Puri organizes are providing 500-800 individuals every year with services such as free blood work, blood sugar checks, blood cholesterol, mammograms and dental and vision services. Every Sunday, Dr. Puri makes burritos from scratch and delivers hundreds of home cooked meals to homeless individuals in the LA Mission Street area (her husband also makes meals for the homeless on another day during the week). Furthermore, since the 1990s, she dedicates two weeks a year traveling to her native home in Southern India to mentor and teach at a local hospital, bringing with her needed medical supplies and textbooks for the staff.
Maureen Wright, MD
Associate Regional Medical Director for Quality Systems
Dr. Wright volunteers for the Wallace Medical Concern (WMC), a safety net clinic that provides free medical care to the poor in Multnomah County, Oregon. In the surrounding Rockwood community, 34 percent of residents live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. It’s estimated that 30 percent of residents lack health insurance. After 27 years, Dr. Wright has become the longest serving volunteer in the history of the clinic. She has been instrumental at coordinating the medical student volunteer program and recruits volunteer medical staff from Kaiser Permanente and other health care providers. In 2006, Dr. Wright became a member of the board of directors and president in 2010. She played a critical role in helping WMC apply to become a Federally Qualified Health Center, which allows WMC to receive federal funds and apply for federal grants, significantly increasing the number of individuals the clinic can serve.
Clinical competency educator
After her first Kaiser Permanente Gulf Coast Rebuilding Project in 2007, Teri has made a point to return every year to help those in New Orleans rebuild their communities after Hurricane Katrina. Teri helped create the “Repeat Offenders” group. These “Repeat Offenders” are Kaiser Permanente employees who have participated in a Gulf Coast Rebuilding project and want to continue joining KP each year to help the underserved community of New Orleans. These folks fund their own way and lodging. Teri is also an active volunteer in her church and community. She was part of a volunteer group sent to Sri Lanka to provide relief after a tsunami in 2006. Due to her history of volunteer service and commitment to the preservation of Native Hawaiian cultural practices, she was recently selected by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to accompany the Hawaii` Delegates to the Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands. Her role was to serve as nurse for the kupuna/revered elders, who are viewed as living treasures.
Mary Sue Carlson, MD
Falls Church, VA
Since 2001, Dr. Mary Susan Carlson has provided medical care, built schools, developed clean water and reforestation programs, and organized several eye and pediatric clinics in Medor, Haiti. In Medor there is no local government, no electricity (other than that of a generator), no running water or sewage system, no postal or telephone service or trash removal. There is also no road into Medor, which must be reached either by foot or mule ride and can take up to 11 hours to get there. Through organized trips with her church, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Arlington, VA, Dr. Carlson has been involved with a number of key health projects in the area, focusing on providing the community with clean water, sanitation, agro-forestry, and education and food for children.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Since 1992, Dr. Charles has been instrumental with Operation Rainbow, as an anesthesia provider, advisory board member, and anesthesia coordinator for children in Latin American who have no access to surgical care. He is also a frequent volunteer and organizer for Hospital de la Familia Foundation, which provides medical and surgical care including cleft lip and palate repairs to Guatemalans who likewise have no access to care. Additionally, he volunteers for Operation Access, helping to provide surgical care to underserved populations here in the East Bay. Dr. Charles also went to Iraq twice to help provide living related donor liver transplants.
Pratima Gupta, MD
Senior Physician, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
During medical school, Dr. Gupta spent a year in Quito, Ecuador volunteering in a family planning clinic. She would later become the founding member and staff doctor for Coccinelle, a clinic serving the transgender community, providing culturally sensitive, nonjudgmental care. She continues her commitment to the transgender community by volunteering at St. James Infirmary, a free clinic in San Francisco for sex workers and transgender individuals. Additionally, she is one of the lead clinicians in the development of a Kaiser Permanente transgender clinic. Currently in the planning phases, it is scheduled to open in early 2013. Furthermore, Dr. Gupta volunteered for Kaiser Permanente’s Gulf Coast rebuilding project in 2010 and 2012, and has been on several international projects in Peru, India, Nicaragua, Zambia, Nigeria and South Sudan to educate local midwives on available family planning methods.
Ann Hornby, MD
San Diego, CA
For nearly three decades, Dr. Hornby has been involved in providing medical and surgical care of eye disease in developing countries. One of her first projects some 26 years was helping to establish an eye clinic in Tecate, Mexico, providing eye exams, medical eye care and cataract and pterygium surgeries for those who otherwise couldn’t afford the care. The clinic is still run by volunteers today. She has also traveled to the Philippines, Bolivia, Peru, central Mexico and Honduras on medical missions. While she took a short hiatus from community service when her children were young, she began bringing them along when they were old enough. Her 19-year-old twins joined her in Peru (her son helped with equipment cleaning and her daughter helped in pre-op).
Bruno Lewin, MD, DTMH
Co-director, Integrative Clinics International
Director, Travel Advisory Service
Department of Family Medicine
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Lewin has been committed to providing care to a underserved population in Jamaica for the past 12 years. One to two times a year, he has been taking teams of physicians, medical students, nurses, dentists, acupuncturists and other health professionals down to a clinic in Falmouth, Jamaica which is staffed by rotating medical teams to provide ongoing care . Due to the level of poverty, cost of local health services and limited access to health care, the local population has struggled to receive care for many chronic conditions. Additionally, Dr. Lewin organizes semiannual health fairs at two additional rural locations in Jamaica to provide health screening for hypertension and diabetes as well as treatment of acute conditions. By partnering with local organizations such as the Bob Marley Group of Companies, the Jamaican Ministry of Health, the Jamaican Cancer Society and the Colgate Van they have been able to provide mobile mammogram screening, HIV testing, public health education and dental cleanings as well as additional services to the local rural communities.
David Young, MD
Dr. Young’s recent medical missions have taken him to Nebobongo, a remote area of the Congo, to assist in providing surgical care and training. The hospital is located in one of the poorest districts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with no access to electricity, clean running water, sanitary facilities, or sewage disposal. Dr. Young has performed surgery by the light of an open window and flashlight, and in the Congo by solar panels powering the operating room lights. Dr. Young also served as a missionary surgeon in Yemen for many years and has volunteered in Kenya, Cameroon and Gabon and the Dominican Republic. In addition to providing needed medical assistance in these remote areas, Dr. Young spends a lot of time and energy on fundraising, in addition to training local surgeons, and recruiting his colleagues back home for future medical missions.
Baldwin Park Community Garden
Baldwin Park, CA
Since 1997, this community garden has become a cornerstone in the San Gabriel Valley region to educate local students and families about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and physical activity. The garden is not only a place utilized for educational programs, but is also accessed by local community residents to cultivate fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the signature programs at the community garden is The Moveable Feast, which is a hands-on nutrition education program that serves close to 200 fourth grade students each year from local elementary schools.
Community Clinic Refresh Team
Fontana and Ontario Public Affairs, along with the medical centers’ leadership, joined forces with National Facilities Services to form the Community Clinic Refresh Team. This team is dedicated to improving the care experience for the clientele of the local community clinics by providing them with a clean, freshly-painted, safe, functional and cheerful healing environment. Most recently, the team took on a project at the Inland Empire Community Health Clinic in Bloomington. Volunteers painted interior walls and halls, covered up graffiti, planted new landscaping, painted colorful murals, installed new carpeting, and removed fencing and barbed wire from the clinic’s parking lot.
KP Care Night
Baldwin Park, CA
In 1997, KP Care Night was established as a partnership between Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center and East Valley Community Health Center to assist a local safety net partner in providing primary care services to uninsured residents of the San Gabriel Valley. Since the inception of this partnership, it is estimated that an average of 4,000 adults and children have been given access to vital health care services through the volunteer efforts of KP physicians and staff.
Hawaii Kaiser Medical Mission Team (HI)
This volunteer medical team of Kaiser Permanente physicians which include David Mathews, Mark Santi, Eric Matayoshi, Jonn Saruwatari and Ryan Takamori, have traveled extensively since 2001 to Vietnam, specifically the towns of Hue and Da Lat, to provide orthopedic and general surgery care to residents who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Besides providing care, the team trains local surgeons and has developed a collaboration with numerous Vietnamese physicians, many of whom they have sponsored to visit Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii.