Partnerships create community impact

Kim Brown, BS,RDN,CDE, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist presents a health combination of foods for Diabetes Prevention Program at the Henry Mayo Newhall Fitness and Health Center in Valencia on Friday January 18, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Besides great customer service, sales and marketing, investing in one’s community falls under the recipe for a successful business. The impact garnered by giving back can result in both tangible and intangible benefits to a business.

When it comes to the Santa Clarita Valley’s health care industry, Kaiser Permanente and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital have established themselves as the area’s leading providers, much of which officials attribute to how they provide for the community.

Whether talking about the area’s longest-serving health care provider or the nation’s largest health care consortium, these entities have seen direct results and major benefits to the Santa Clarita Valley through their efforts to work with others to expand local outreach, programs and services.

Kaiser Permanente

Since opening its doors in Santa Clarita in 1989, Kaiser Permanente has built a strong base and support system in the SCV, with a team of more than 120 physicians and about 230 employees. Its expansion to help save patients the drive to the San Fernando Valley and provide specialty care services became a reality earlier in 2018, when the healthcare provider opened the new Santa Clarita Medical Office 2.

“Kaiser Permanente’s expansion in Santa Clarita helps to build a strong, robust community infrastructure and advocacy for good health and health services,” Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO John Musella said during the ribbon-cutting event in February.

The new building was designed to enable improved connectivity with physicians using advanced technology, such as video consultations, remote check-ins via the Kaiser app and push notifications to avoid the waiting room.

This is a form of community investment that “ensures the city of Santa Clarita to be a leader in supporting a healthy community and a healthy economy,” Troy Hooper, 2018 chairman of the Chamber said.

Offering a new space for expanded specialty care services falls within a large network that directly impacts the community. Grants and outreach programs also play a big role.

Dr. Stephen DeVita, assistant area medical director at Kaiser and SCV resident, said that as a nonprofit healthcare provider, its mission is to deliver high-quality, affordable services, “but the overall vision is to make the community healthier.”

Besides services and health plans, DeVita said planting grants in areas with needs is one way to create a stronger, healthier community.

In 2018, more than $62,000 was given to organizations such as Samuel Dixon Family Health Center for a diabetes prevention program, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV to fund healthy lifestyle activities and Carousel Ranch for its equestrian therapy and physical exercise activities for children with special needs.

Kaiser Permanente presented a check to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita for $10,000 for their 2018 grants program. Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser also provides financial support by sponsoring a series of programs and events throughout the year that promotes a healthy lifestyle, according to hospital spokeswoman Chelsi Schriver.

Among those include the city of Santa Clarita’s Final Mile Marathon Challenge, where staff has worked with more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students over the course of two months to complete the marathon. For the 2016 Special Olympics World Games, the health care provider offered medical care for athletes, as well as sponsoring events such as the Healthy Families & Youth Sports Festival, LA84 swim meets and the Santa Clarita Marathon’s Kid’s Fitness Challenge.

To prepare today’s youth as tomorrow’s leaders, DeVita said topics such as healthy eating, literacy, bullying, conflict management and STD prevention are offered at local school districts through Kaiser’s educational theatre program, which offers free assemblies, parent workshops and materials.

“Giving back in all these ways goes with our philosophy and that’s how do we really deliver great care?” said DeVita. “We have to walk the talk.”

Henry Mayo

Much like Kaiser Permanente, Henry Mayo is a not-for-profit community hospital known for its diverse list of services and strong system of physicians with expertise in more than 70 specialties.

The hospital and trauma center also suppports investing in its community through new facilities. Set to open in 2019, Henry Mayo will add up to 142 patient beds, medical and surgical rooms, private rooms with restrooms and a Women’s Services Unit to meet the growing needs of the SCV population. The new building is estimated to care for about “hundreds of thousands,” or about 10,000 patients per year, according to Roger Seaver, Henry Mayo president and chief executive officer.

“For over 40 years, Henry Mayo has been on a journey to provide outstanding patient care for our community,” said Don Kimball, chairman of the Henry Mayo Board of Directors, at the groundbreaking event in late 2016. “This new tower will allow us to expand our health

care services and provide an even better experience for our patients.”

As a not-for-profit organization, Patrick Moody, director of public relations and community engagement, said the team at Henry Mayo understands the importance of giving back in a variety of ways, not only in hospital services and in providing financial assistance to uninsured patients.

“A lot of what we do to give back is around education and awareness to empower people to take the steps necessary to improve their own health,” he said. “We consider a nonprofit hospital is not just to care for those here, but to keep people healthy so they can lead healthy lives.”

To offer the right services needed by the community, Henry Mayo invests in conducting thorough health assessments every three years, including the creation of a plan to address each need. In 2016, the study revealed 10 significant health needs, which included access to health care, cancer, asthma and mental health and diabetes.

Henry Mayo organizes several classes and conferences for the general public including (pictured) an educational session on the proper protocal for diagnosing and treating concussions. Courtesy of Henry Mayo

With diabetes listed among the top five, Moody said the hospital launched a prevention program last year intended for prediabetic individuals to learn how to modify their lifestyle. For heart disease, Henry Mayo offers cardiovascular programs and hosts heart health fairs where people can have their glucose tested, meet with experts and even sign up for the annual Santa Clarita Heart Walk. The same goes for cancer, where the public has access to multiple free events to learn, for example, genetic risk factors and dietary changes to help prevent cancer.

The hospital also targets the youth through programs like athletic training, where partnerships with the William S. Hart Union High School District allows for trainers to offer care and education at all six high schools, a service that arose as a result of a growing concern over sports-related concussions.  

Measuring return on investment

With a generous amount of activity toward the community, from building new facilities to offering a myriad amount of free educational classes and events, how do health care providers know the worth and effectiveness of their investments?

Measuring a business’ return on investment can help determine success over time and cancel out the guesswork on future decisions.

For Henry Mayo, Moody said the hospital is working on improving the way it measures its effectiveness on programs and services offered, such as conducting phone interviews with community leaders to better focus on the areas with greatest needs.

“The problem we have is that the data we receive includes the San Fernando Valley,” he said. “We get additional (tools) to get Santa Clarita Valley data so that gives us a better snapshot of our community.”

Kaiser Permanente their ROI for grants and business by returning to the overall question, said DeVita. “Are we continuing to go on our path toward our vision? That’s only going to happen with changing the way we deliver health care,” he said.

Examining how each decision is made, such as investing in the latest technology to offer convenience and efficiency, will result in the best return on investment, DeVita said, “for all in the health care industry.”

Where Henry Mayo, Kaiser invest in the community

Henry Mayo’s impact on the SCV community is felt in many ways including its wide range of educational and training opportunities, many of which are free of cost. These are some of the hospital’s partnerships and events:


  • Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation
  • College of the Canyons for the Cancer Awareness and Resource Expo, or CARE SCV
  • The American Heart Association for the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” event to raise awareness of heart disease
  • The Red Cross for blood drive opportunities
  • The William S. Hart Union High School District for an athletic training program

Programs and events

  • Santa Clarita Heart Walk
  • Community Heart Health Fair
  • Healthcare Hero Program
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Gift of Life

Kaiser offers an impressive community benefits grants program, investing more than $62 million on a yearly basis in local organizations that focus on health or to help them meet a healthy goal. Here is a list of recipients:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Bridge to Home
  • Carousel Ranch
  • Child & Family Center
  • Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita
  • Foundation of Children’s Dental Health
  • Grandparents as Parents
  • Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV
  • Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Foundation
  • Michael Hoefflin Foundation
  • Northeast Valley Health Corporation
  • Samuel Dixon Family Health Center
  • Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center
  • SCV Youth Project
  • Single Mother’s Outreach
  • Special Olympics SCV
  • WeSPARK Cancer Support Center

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