in response to the staggering economic conditions of the Great Depression.
Under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policy, America reached out to help those in dire straits.
Among the early respondents was Dr. Sidney R. Garfield, who began to experiment with innovative ways to
put advanced medical ideas into practice.
Dr. Garfield's system of care integrated four core principles: group medical practice,
prepayment of services, a focus on prevention, and a cornucopia of services under one roof.
When he and industrialist Henry J. Kaiser joined forces in 1938, a partnership was born that
set the course for the future.
During World War II, Kaiser Permanente added two critical innovations: a nonprofit,
charitable-trust financing structure,
known today as Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, and
research as a core element of the Permanente Medical Groups' practice, today referred
to as evidence-based medicine.
After the war, Kaiser Permanente opened to the public and quickly grew to become the largest
delivery system of its kind in the United States—a distinction it holds to this day with more than nine million members.
Since its inception, innovation has remained at the core of
Kaiser Permanente's culture and it continues to motivate
us toward new and better ways to serve our members, employees, and
communities every day.