Kaiser Permanente: Promoting Health and Supporting the Community

Originally Posted on KP

Kaiser Permanente and the Golden State Warriors were pleased to announce some of the feature elements of our ongoing engagement earlier this year. Unfortunately, some of the facts are being misrepresented in an effort to turn this worthwhile engagement into something else. We think it’s important to know the truth.

In May we announced the creation of Thrive City, which will be a community gathering space that provides a slate of year-round health and wellness programming and local events such as walks and marathons, Get Fit clinics, yoga sessions, farmers markets, health screenings, flu clinics, ice skating, and much more. Through this unique venue, we are investing in reaching our members and the community in places where they live, learn, work, and play, while reinforcing our commitment to the communities we serve — this is part of our mission as a nonprofit organization. Thrive City is a destination for promoting total health, aligned with the needs of the community.

This builds on our joint announcement earlier this year of Generation Thrive, an innovative project that aims to lift up at-risk youth in the community. Generation Thrive, which will be headquartered out of the Warriors’ current practice facility in Oakland, will focus efforts in 3 key areas: educational equity, college and career readiness, and health and wellness. Generation Thrive will also have a satellite office located at Thrive City. We believe that everyone should have access to great health care and the information and tools they need to stay healthy. Our partnership with the Warriors is part of this work to increase public awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Our engagement with the Warriors is a unique arrangement between two organizations that are both deeply committed to improving the health of the community, and both deeply committed to supporting the Bay Area. Our engagement includes several different and important pieces, with Thrive City being only one part of the whole. It builds on our long-standing relationship with the Warriors and features new and innovative ways to benefit our community — especially those in underserved populations. It is not a typical sports sponsorship agreement, and even the marketing and business components to this agreement focus on promoting health and supporting the community.

Kaiser Permanente does not receive luxury box seats as part of our agreement with the Warriors. In fact, we have a strict policy around complimentary tickets to sporting events: any game tickets provided by the Warriors must be used to promote community benefit or for narrowly defined business purposes. Any personal use of tickets by Kaiser Permanente employees must be paid for out of their own pocket.

Some critics of Kaiser Permanente’s engagement with the Warriors are misrepresenting the facts about the cost and the objectives of our work together. The total potential cost of this 20-year community health and business engagement with the Warriors will average less than $15 million a year. Of that total potential, the costs associated with Thrive City would be about $2.5 million a year.

Generation Thrive was launched with an initial $5 million investment from Kaiser Permanente, with more to come. To help put that in context, Kaiser Permanente is in the midst of a 7-year, $700 million project to expand and enhance our mental health care offices, with the goal of making care more available, and improving access, in environments that offer our patients convenience, comfort and privacy.