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KAISER PERMANENTE: WHEN THE BIG ONE HITS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: PREPARING THE NATION'S LARGEST HMO FOR A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE

 OAKLAND, Calif., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente experts in emergency preparedness will discuss lessons learned from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake at the 1993 National Earthquake Conference in Memphis, Tenn., May 3-5. Discussing events before and after the Northern California earthquake, David Otey and Benjamin Wong will outline the steps necessary to create a successful plan for a large health care organization in their Multi-Facility Earthquake Preparedness Program presentation.
 Although the multi-facility earthquake preparedness system was developed for the giant Kaiser Permanent Medical Care Program in Northern California, the experience and plan presented are equally applicable in other locations where earthquakes are a threat. "You cannot postpone taking actions for preparedness. You must start now," stated Otey, acting manager of Emergency Preparedness for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and a specialist in communications systems. Wong, former chair of Kaiser's Regional Committee for Earthquake Preparedness and co-presenter at the conference added, "While government and corporations have a major role, preparedness is everyone's business."
 The multi-facility earthquake preparedness plan presented at the conference has been developed for Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, one of 12 regions of the nationwide Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. The Northern California Region provides health care services to 2.4 million members at 15 medical centers and 35 medical offices. With approximately 3,500 physicians and 30,000 other employees, Kaiser Permanente is Northern California's largest health care employer.
 Otey is a member of the Program Advisory Board for certification in emergency preparedness planning for the University of California extension in Berkeley. He currently serves as a board member of the American Red Cross, Alameda County and as a member of Oakland's Office of Emergency Services Task Force for Alert & Warning. Wong served for three years on the California State Governor's Task Force for Earthquake Preparedness and has received a special commendation from the governor's office for his work. Both Otey and Wong are part of Kaiser's Facilities and Design Construction Division in Northern California.
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Beverly Hayon of Kaiser Permanente, 510-987-2703/


CO: Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: HEA SU:

SG-GT -- SF020 -- 4036 05/03/93 17:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 3, 1993
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