nursing students in class

Economic opportunity

Building a strong foundation
Helping to create economic and educational opportunities is another way Kaiser Permanente provides support for the communities we serve. Currently we offer scholarships and a job readiness program that lead to careers in the health care field.

The Medical Assistant (MA) Scholarship and Job Readiness Program
Medical Assistants (MAs) serve a key role within the frontline medical care team, assisting primary care clinicians, medical specialists, surgeons, and urgent care clinicians with medical procedures and administrative duties.

Despite the essential role that MAs provide in healthcare, there is a critical MA shortage in the greater Seattle and Bellevue regions. This shortage negatively affects patient access in both primary and specialty care services. And in spite of growing job opportunities across the region, MA enrollments at local colleges go unfilled each quarter, due in large part, to the cost of tuition and related expenses.

That’s why Kaiser Permanente is joining forces with the Seattle College District to offer scholarships and support for 60 students to attend Seattle College’s Medical Assisting program. Through this Medical Assistant (MA) Career Launch Scholarship program, we see the potential to develop an innovative model to accelerate the careers of youth and adults from low-income backgrounds and underrepresented populations, and strengthen the healthcare workforce in our region.

The program addresses several important issues in our region:

  • Shortage of Medical Assistants
  • Need for support and mentoring for students
  • Financial barriers to living-wage careers

Over three years the program will provide 60 MA students in the Seattle and Bellevue areas with:

  • Scholarships
  • Financial support
  • Job coaching, training, and certification
  • Externship opportunities

Multiple approaches, greater impact

We collaborate with many organizations to provide care, support education, or economic opportunities. Many of our efforts meet more than one of these goals.

Thriving Schools is an initiative to improve health for students, staff, and teachers. Good nutrition, adequate physical activity and support for students’ social and emotional well-being enrich their readiness to learn. And a good education often leads to better access to resources that reinforce health over one’s lifetime.

Forterra’s Sky to Sound Water Trail will support livability and prosperity for communities and landscapes in Snohomish County through the development of responsible recreation, sprawl reduction, and conservation of wild and working rural lands. Emphasizing the interdependence of urban and natural landscapes, Forterra seeks to create healthy communities, a resilient environment, and broad-based economic prosperity.

Little Brook Youth Corps: provides kids ages 13 through 18 with the opportunity to build green-job and leadership skills. It also gives them the opportunity to earn a living wage while restoring open space. The Youth Corps brings together Lake City teens, local residential and business communities, local environmental experts, and a wide range of community advocates to focus on shared goals. These goals include neighborhood beautification, environmental restoration, as well as stewardship and community-building.

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