Kaiser Permanente Pledges $1 Million to Mexico Earthquake Aid

Hernando Garzon, MD, to Join Medical Assessment Team to Determine Immediate Needs

OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente on Monday pledged $1 million to support first responders’ efforts in Mexico following multiple destructive earthquakes in the last few weeks.

The contribution from the nation’s largest integrated health system will go to International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian nonprofit organization established by volunteer physicians in 1984. Kaiser Permanente’s contribution will help International Medical Corps conduct an on-the-ground assessment of needs in the affected areas and assist with local relief and recovery efforts, including support for the mental health and wellness needs of those impacted.

“Our hearts are with all those affected by the devastation and loss of life from the earthquakes that struck central Mexico,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief community health officer for Kaiser Permanente. “Many of our employees and members have loved ones in the areas that were impacted. We felt it was imperative that we offer our help and resources in this critical time of need.”

Both organizations are sending disaster response experts and medical professionals to Mexico City on Tuesday, September 26, to support immediate relief and recovery efforts. One of those experts include Hernando Garzon, MD, an emergency medicine physician with The Permanente Medical Group.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to work with the International Medical Corps again,” said Dr. Garzon. “Their humanitarian relief work is exemplary, and we’re fortunate to be able to participate in their efforts.” This is the fourth earthquake relief effort for Dr. Garzon, who will work with the assessment team to determine the needs for primary care, water, and sanitation; and assess the needs for mental health services and psychological support to individuals and families affected by the earthquake.

“Kaiser Permanente’s extraordinary commitment to deploy staff and their swift and generous support will ensure that International Medical Corps can help meet families’ greatest needs and mobilize health care, supplies and other assistance that will help communities in Mexico as they begin to recover and rebuild,” said Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of International Medical Corps.

As Kaiser Permanente supports these efforts in Mexico, the organization continues to monitor the areas impacted by this year’s extreme hurricane season. On September 5, Kaiser Permanente gave a donation to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.

About the Permanente Medical Groups

The Permanente Medical Groups are composed of more than 21,000 physicians dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and the communities in which we provide care. We practice in eight self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente – an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 11.8 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in eight states – from Hawaii to Maryland – and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

In 1997, the Permanente Medical Groups formed The Permanente Federation LLC to represent their shared interests. The Federation serves as the key partner on behalf of the medical groups with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals on national initiatives.