FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sep. 8, 2016
High-Tech Gift Strengthens Alameda Health System’s Ability to Serve All
Alameda Health System, Kaiser Permanente, and East Bay Community Foundation team up for new technology
Oakland, Calif. (Sep. 8, 2016) – Alameda Health System Foundation (AHSF) today announced a historic advancement in increasing access to lifesaving technology for African-Americans, Hispanics and other minority populations disproportionately affected by heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
As the fundraising arm for health care provider Alameda Health System (AHS), the Foundation has been awarded a $6 million grant from a Kaiser Permanente fund at the East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) to purchase technology that will spot cancers, diseases, and other health problems early. A state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner will double the number of patients able to receive the needed treatment at the health system and become the crown jewel of Highland Hospital’s new Diagnostic Interventional Services Center (DISC) in the Acute Care Tower that opened earlier this year.
Overwhelmingly low-income and underserved, AHS’ patients typically experience economic and social barriers to quality care, increasing their rates for disease and mortality. Early detection of health problems is crucial to increasing survival rates and creating healthier communities.
“This important gift expands our ability to serve more patients and improves our efforts to remove barriers to better health for all,” said Delvecchio Finley, Alameda Health System CEO. “We applaud Kaiser Permanente and the health system’s Foundation for supporting our fight for health equity to ensure all patients have access to optimal care. Health disparities continue to exist within our communities and we believe a patient’s ZIP code should not determine their access to high-quality, affordable health care.”
Alameda Health System’s 3T MRI scanner will take pictures of organs and bones inside the body. With greater speed and enhanced capability, the new 3T MRI will hold double the power of AHS’ existing high-field scanner, providing faster and more precise images, and expanding access to these services for twice as many patients.
Scheduled to go live in early 2018, the scanner will also improve patient experience through its ability to accommodate larger patients and reduce noise and claustrophobia. The upgrade enhances patients’ ability to receive all services within the health system, improving care coordination and reducing time from diagnosis to treatment.
The gift is the largest awarded to AHSF for medical equipment in its 26-year history and lifts the Foundation’s capital campaign for essential equipment and programs at Highland Hospital to $22 million.
“AHSF has a long history of securing philanthropic support on behalf of AHS’ mission for patient centered care that improves the health of our diverse communities,” said Josie Baltodano, chair of the AHSF board of directors.
Debra Barnes, AHSF president, agreed and also thanked Kaiser for its leadership. “Kaiser Permanente is a valued partner that has continually demonstrated a shared commitment to community health.”
A Kaiser Permanente fund at EBCF made this grant to AHSF and also provides community benefit grants to many other organizations that are working to advance health. AHSF has received major gifts from this fund in the past for priority programs. In addition, over the years Kaiser Permanente has given many grants to AHSF directly from its Northern California Community Benefit Program to support essential AHS programs and equipment needs.
“Supporting organizations that share our commitment to expanding and improving access to health care for all people is an important part of our work to eliminate health disparities,” said Yvette Radford, vice president of Kaiser Permanente’s External and Community Affairs. “We are proud to make this investment in AHS, knowing that the equipment will address significant community needs.”
“EBCF is currently deepening its long-standing commitment to support the needs of underserved communities in Alameda County,” said James Head, president and CEO at EBCF. “We are proud of the collaboration with Kaiser Permanente in making this major grant to AHSF, which will provide such important benefits for the health of minority communities.”
About Alameda Health System Foundation
Alameda Health System Foundation (AHSF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a vital purpose of cultivating community support and funding for Alameda Health System (AHS). Private donors and organizations partner with AHSF to invest in AHS’ mission of Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All. Since 1990, AHSF has raised millions of dollars in support of AHS, and is a cornerstone of community caring and leadership. These gifts – from foundation grants, corporations, community organizations, and individuals – fund essential equipment, programs, and services that help ensure delivery of high-quality care to everyone in need. To learn more and to donate: www.foundationahs.org.
About Alameda Health System
Alameda Health System (AHS) is a leading public health care provider and medical training institution recognized for its world-class patient and family centered care. As one of Alameda County’s largest employers, AHS provides more than 4,500 jobs and is home to more than 1,100 physicians across nine facilities, including Highland Hospital, Alameda Hospital, San Leandro Hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital, Fairmont Hospital, and a network of community-based wellness centers. AHS is committed to promoting wellness and optimizing the health of the community through its mission of caring, healing, teaching and serving all. For more information, visit AlamedaHealthSystem.org.