Colin Cave, MD, discusses Northwest Permanente’s leadership in becoming a sustainable health care company


In a recent interview with Forbes, Permanente physician leader Colin Cave, MD, shared the many tangible ways Northwest Permanente is leading the way as it becomes a sustainable health care company. This includes making measurable improvements in its environmental and equity practices.

Headshot of Colin Cave, MD
Colin Cave, MD

“We want to support doctors doing the right thing,” said Dr. Cave, a general otolaryngologist who serves as Northwest Permanente’s director of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Community Health. “It feels good that we belong to a company that will.”

Northwest Permanente is the first physician-led medical group in the world to become a Certified B Corporation – a corporation that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Dr. Cave said he believes that designation is attractive to a new generation of physicians now entering the workforce.

Becoming a B Corp “and being transparent in what we do has helped us gain the attention of people who are looking for a mission on top of a place to work,” Dr. Cave said. “It’s been great, and we believe it has helped with retention, too.”

The organization was also the first to publish a large-scale study showing the positive environmental effects of reducing commutes by patients by using virtual outpatient visits. “That’s all clinician-led work,” Dr. Cave noted.

During the pandemic, when hospitals were overflowing with patients, Northwest Permanente similarly used technology to move hospital-level care into patients’ homes.

“One of our main concerns was that this service might leave low-income communities behind because of a lack of broadband or resources,” Dr. Cave said. Instead, “we were able to set up needed technology in these homes, provide the needed broadband connection, and arrange for monitoring and home visits.”

To read the entire article, visit the Forbes website.