Kaiser Permanente has been recognized for creating a workplace that supports and empowers people with disabilities. Several Permanente Medical Groups, the multispecialty physician groups that provide care to Kaiser Permanente members, are members of the AMA Health System Program that provides enterprise solutions to equip leadership, physicians and care teams with resources to help drive the future of medicine.
The integrated health care system received a 100% score on the most recent Disability Equality Index, the seventh year in a row in which Kaiser Permanente has done so. The index was created by Disability:IN, a global organization that promotes disability inclusion and equality in business, and the American Association of People with Disabilities, a national organization that advocates for full civil rights for more than 60 million Americans with disabilities. The index benchmarks companies based on culture, leadership, accessibility, employment practices, community engagement and supplier diversity.
The companies in the index incorporate practices such as:
- Offering flexible work options, having a written accommodations policy.
- Encouraging confidential self-identification as disabled.
- Having an active disability-focused employee or business resource group.
- Providing philanthropic support to an external disability organization or event.
Creating a best place to work
Kaiser Permanente was also included in the organizations’ list of 2023 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.
Kaiser Permanente is committed to creating a workplace where every person feels valued and respected, and the organization has established a set of equity principles that serve as guidelines on how to treat each other. Kaiser Permanente also partners with the National Organization on Disability to leverage and benchmark effective practices from across the industry.
The health system’s talent strategy includes partnerships with state and local departments of rehabilitation, and participation in events such as employer roundtables and job circle events.
The Kaiser Permanente onboarding process is designed to encourage dialogue between all stakeholders and includes giving employees and job candidates access to disability-management resources for their accommodation needs.
An inclusive work environment is also facilitated through the 10 Kaiser Permanente business resource groups, including Capability@KP, which helps create a more accessible workplace and honors the right to self-determination and independence among people with disabilities living in communities served by the health system.
The AMA has a wide array of policy advocating the rights of patients, students, clinical staff and physicians with disabilities. This include policies that:
- Urge health professions organizations to support the entry of disabled persons into health-profession education programs, and advocate that these educational programs have established standards concerning the entry of disabled persons.
- Support equal access to all hospital facilities for physicians with physical disabilities as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Urge all medical schools and graduate medical education institutions to make available to students and trainees a designated, qualified person or committee trained in the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Pursuant to policy adopted by the House of Delegates, the AMA formed an advisory group composed of physicians and medical students with disabilities to develop and promote tools to advocate for themselves in their own workplaces.
AMA members interested in serving on the advisory group should email William Jordan, MD, MPH, director of health equity policy at the AMA Center for Health Equity.