KAISER PERMANENTE: HOW DOES A CORPORATE 'CEO' HELP A HIGH SCHOOL WHERE 10 PERCENT OF THE STUDENT BODY DROPS OUT?
OAKLAND, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente today released the following: Kaiser Permanente executive vice president and regional manager David Pockell shows up on "the front lines" of urban conflict to encourage the next generation of health care workers. Fremont High School is the turning point where health and education reform goes into action. The lives of many of East Oakland's Fremont High School students are all but incomprehensible to most of us. The poverty, random violence, and domestic trauma these kids live with each day we only see on the nightly news, watching from a safe distance in our living rooms. Finishing high school is a tough priority to make for many of these teens; Fremont has an alarming 10-percent drop-out rate. Thanks to support from Kaiser Permanente, the Oakland-based health care pioneer, that seems to be changing. In September of 1992, Fremont High began restructuring its curriculum, reorganizing the campus into six "houses," each with its own interdisciplinary team of teachers. The Health and Environmental Sciences House (HESH) is supported by Kaiser Permanente, and Pockell hopes the program will motivate students to pursue an education and, ultimately, a career in the health care field. As part of his on-going leadership strategy, Pockell will serve as "Principal for a Day" at Fremont High School on Monday, May 24. Pockell will not see "education" in the traditional sense. Through the revolutionary HESH program, Fremont's predominantly minority, immigrant and low-income students learn to connect classroom learning with career development through an extraordinarily effective program. Peer counseling is the vital link to help at-risk teens choose to stay in school. The program's 350 students have a daily class period dedicated to career, college and health planning; teachers help with social and study skills; bring in guest speakers; and offer to assist with homework and personal needs. During his "Principal for a Day" experience, Pockell will see how Kaiser Permanente's strong presence at Fremont is affecting its students. And he'll participate in its "school within a school." "This is an opportunity to strengthen our community," said Pockell. "We seek not only to develop students who will undertake careers in health, but also to develop healthier students and improve learning, regardless of ultimate career choice." Integral to the success of the HESH program is the Job Rotation Project. From a rotating group of Kaiser Permanente professionals, HESH students get hands-on experience in the health care field. It gives them a real sense of what they might do as adults in the fast-growing era of medical technology. Most important, they see that they have a viable opportunity to become anything from a medical intake worker to a physician. Says Kaiser Permanente liaison Mike Allerton, "These kids are faced with a lot of ugly alternatives; they need good, quick reasons to stay in school. They see their peers on the street making the fast bucks to buy a gold Rolex. In this program, they have found learning exciting and, against all odds, far more attractive than dealing drugs." With its role in Fremont's restructuring -- particularly the company's support of HESH and participation in the Job Rotation Project -- Kaiser Permanente is aggressively addressing the national crisis that will affect the delivery of health care on all levels in this country. America's aging populations, new medical technology, and the spread of epidemics such as AIDS, all point to a need to prepare students for careers in one of the largest-growing industries in the country. Kaiser Permanente's involvement with Fremont High's restructuring is unprecedented. Kaiser Permanente has committed $200,000 a year in funding for a minimum of three years. Should the program be deemed a success, Kaiser Permanente will continue funding for an additional two years, bringing the five-year total to $1 million. This effort has its roots in Kaiser Permanente's pioneering origins in health care -- the only model with a long track record in managed health care. "Principal for a Day" is sponsored by Oakland Rotary No. 3 and the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute. Both Pockell and host principal Robert Duran serve on the board of the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute. Date: May 24, 1993 Time: 8 a.m. Place: Fremont High School Address: 4610 Foothill Blvd. Telephone: 510-261-3240 -0- 5/21/93 /CONTACT: Lisa Citron of Kaiser Permanente, 415-668-0562/
CO: Kaiser Permanente; Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute ST: California IN: HEA SU:
TM-GT -- SF002 -- 1230 05/21/93 13:25 EDT
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|Date:||May 21, 1993|
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