With growing consensus over the effects that social determinants of health like housing, nutrition and the environment have on health, one healthcare organization that’s taken a leadership role on many of the underlying issues facing patients has been Oakland-based managed care organization Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson was on hand to help to kick off the company’s 2018 Community Health Summit in San Francisco and laid out the group’s wider strategy around improving community health.

“Today, as we think about it, the big question around us is the definition of a 21st century community and in a lot of ways the assessment of the state of communities around the country. Are those now environments where people can thrive?” Tyson said. “Or are people really spending all their time, energy and resources simple trying to survive?”

He outlined the management steps it took to center community health as key to Kaiser’s larger ambitions, including the creation of the executive level position of chief community health officer in 2016 with the appointment of Dr. Bechara Choucair to the role.

“Health and healthcare, related, but different. How do we think about health based in a community framework?” Tyson said. “Over time we have evolved our thinking to better understand that as a mega health system we have to think broader than just medical care.”

Read the full article about Kaiser Permanente's CEO on community health by Kevin Truong at MedCity News.