A History of Total Health invites you to join in a discussion of today’s health care as we draw links to relevant events in the history of Kaiser Permanente and the industrial constellation under Henry J. Kaiser.
The blog takes its name from Kaiser Permanente founding physician Sidney R. Garfield’s last research project “Total Health” which sought to understand and treat the body, mind, and spirit of our members.
Throughout his career, Garfield (1906-1984) wanted to build a system of care that focused on keeping people healthy in addition to caring for them when they get sick. His ideas resonated with industrialist Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967) who was “greatly restless and restlessly great” for a new health care system. Together they founded Kaiser Permanente for the employees of Kaiser Industries in 1942, and opened the health plan to the public on July 21, 1945.
Lincoln Cushing is the archivist responsible for Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources. Heritage employs history to build pride and to support leadership initiatives and also maintains the organization’s historical archives. Cushing was formerly Cataloging and Electronic Outreach Librarian at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Industrial Relations Library and the Bancroft Library. He has authored numerous books on social justice poster art of the late 20th century.
Bryan Culp is the immediate past director of Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Heritage Resources. Culp is the author of “SCPMG’s Heritage in Academic Medicine,” SCPMG 50th Annual Pediatric Symposium (2008), and with Morris F. Collen, MD, and Tom Debley, “Rosie the Riveter’s Wartime Medical Records” Permanente Journal (vol. 12, no. 3, Summer 2008).
Ginny McPartland, emeritus communications consultant with Heritage Resources, was a former journalist who joined Kaiser Permanente in 2000. Ginny’s special interests relate to World War II and its effect on 21st Century society.
Tom Debley is director emeritus of Heritage Resources. He is author of The Story of Dr. Sidney R. Garfield: The Visionary Who Turned Sick Care into Health Care (The Permanente Press, 2009) and multiple articles on Kaiser Permanente history.