1933: Sidney R. Garfield, MD, establishes a prepayment health plan for workers on a construction project in the Southern California desert.1938: Henry Kaiser persuades Dr. Garfield to set up a group-practice prepayment plan for construction workers on the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. Membership is later opened to workers and families.
1942: At the request of Henry Kaiser, Dr. Garfield establishes group-practice prepayment plans for workers and their families at Kaiser-managed shipyards in the San Francisco Bay area and Vancouver, Washington, as well as at a Kaiser steel mill in Fontana in Southern California. At the peak of wartime shipbuilding activity, the plans serve about 200,000 members.
1945: Health plans are opened for community enrollment. In 1946, with the closing of the Kaiser-managed shipyards, membership drops to 25,000.
1952: Membership surpasses 250,000 with significant support from Los Angeles-area management and labor groups, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Retail Clerks Union.
1955: Kaiser Permanente is reorganized to make the partnership between the professions of medicine and management more effective, and to provide individual physicians with a financial stake in the program’s future. This reorganization creates the framework and foundation for Kaiser Permanente’s present structure. The organization’s three regions (Northern California, Southern California, and Oregon) reach a combined membership of 500,000.
1958: Kaiser Permanente establishes a fourth region in Hawaii.
1963: Membership reaches 1 million.
1965: Henry Kaiser receives the AFL-CIO’s Murray Green Award for his achievements in health and welfare that inspired others to work for the common good. President Lyndon B. Johnson calls Kaiser “a pioneer of the new breed of responsible businessmen.”
1968: Membership reaches 2 million.
1969: Kaiser Permanente establishes Colorado and Ohio regions.
1976: Membership reaches 3 million.
1977: All six regions become federally qualified HMOs.
1980: Kaiser Permanente establishes a Mid-Atlantic region – Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia – by acquiring a nonprofit group-practice prepayment plan in the Washington, D.C., area.
1981: Membership reaches 4 million.
1985: Kaiser Permanente establishes Georgia region.
1987: Membership reaches 5 million.
1990: Membership reaches 6.5 million.
1995: Kaiser Permanente celebrates its fiftieth anniversary as a public health plan.
1996: Membership reaches 7.4 million.
1997: Membership approaches 9 million. Kaiser Permanente purchases a portion of Humana Group Health, Inc., Washington, D.C., adding 117,000 members, and forms an affiliation with Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, adding 670,000 members.
1997: Kaiser Permanente and the AFL-CIO agree to establish a historic partnership between labor and management that is the first of its kind in health care. The partnership is designed to improve the quality of health care for Kaiser Permanente members and the communities we serve, provide employees with the maximum possible employment and income security, and involve employees and their unions in decision making.
2001: When hospital workers from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199 were overwhelmed by the strain of handling injured rescue workers and bystanders from the September 11 terrorist attack, a call was made to union leaders. Thanks to a collaborative effort between SEIU Local 250’s Sal Rosselli and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer MaryAnn Thode, help arrived from Kaiser Permanente’s California Division Office, and Kaiser Permanente collaboratively provided assistance in the form of Employee Assistance Program workers from California.
2003: Kaiser Permanente announces over the next three years it will spend $1.8 billion in programs to create an archive of electronic medical records for its 8.4 million members. CEO George C. Halvorson says that this will be “the largest and most current patient database in the world.”
2003: Kaiser Permanente posts clinical care guidelines on the Internet for community providers and consumers. Originally developed for physicians, the guidelines are part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to both evidence-based medicine and to community benefit.