Posts Tagged ‘Southern California’

Kaiser Permanente Embraces Medical Imaging

posted on October 29, 2013
"Scintiscanner" cover photo, Planning for Health - Southern California, Summer 1956.
“The scintiscanner is the latest type of diagnostic tool in use at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles,” Planning for Health – Southern California, Summer 1956.

By Lincoln Cushing, Heritage Writer

Being able to see inside a living human body has always been a holy grail for medical diagnosis. But X-ray photographs and fluoroscopes had their limitations, so Dr. Benedict Cassen (1902-1972) invented the scintillation scanner, or “scintiscanner” in 1951. This  imaging device was based on plotting radioisotopes introduced into the patient. Dr. Cassen’s work with UCLA’s Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology launched the field of nuclear medicine that has become important throughout the world for medical diagnosis.

The scintiscanner produced a crude picture by moving a scintillation detector over the area to be scanned and recording the intensity levels with a dot-producing mechanism. It was first used to image the thyroid gland after the administration of radioiodine. With the development of organ-specific radiopharmaceuticals, the scanner was widely used during the late 1950s until the early 1970s.

Short link to this story: http://ow.ly/qiWJV

Tags: , , , ,

The Roots of Southern California Kaiser Permanente

posted on October 7, 2013
Cover of Southern California Planning for Health featuring Los Angeles hospital - Fall 1957
Cover of Southern California Planning for Health featuring expansion of operating room facilities at the new Los Angeles hospital – Fall 1957

By Lincoln Cushing, Heritage writer

The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s first beachhead in Southern California was a modest hospital for workers at the Fontana Steel Mill.

The plant was built by Henry J. Kaiser in 1942 as the first West Coast source of the rolled steel plates needed to build Liberty and Victory ships for World War II.

After the war the Health Plan in Fontana went public, and with the strong support of labor unions like the Retail Clerks International Union and the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Union it began to grow throughout the region.

The first facility outside of Fontana was established in Harbor City in 1950 when the entire West Coast ILWU signed up for the plan.

The next year the Retail Clerks International Union signed on and facilities were founded in Los Angeles, at an inauspicious clinic on La Cienega Boulevard; the state-of-the-art Permanente Foundation Hospital on Sunset Boulevard would not be built until 1953.

On January 1 of that year 13 physicians signed the Southern California Permanente Medical Group’s first Partnership Agreement with  Raymond Kay, MD, as Medical Director.

Special thanks to Cathy Romero, Communications Production Specialist, Pasadena, for providing the Heritage Resources archive with scans of the Southern California Planning for Health newsletters.

Short link to this story: http://ow.ly/pADVN

Article in Southern California Planning for Health on Retail Clerks Union group members, Winter 1952-1953
Article in Southern California Planning for Health on Retail Clerks Union group members, Winter 1952-1953

Tags: , , , , , , ,