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Pacific Region Oasis holds Inaugural Luncheon for Kaiser Medical Facility in Baldwin Hills
By Shonassee Shaver, Staff Writer
Published June 7, 2017

Medical Director and Chief of Staff at Kaiser Permanente West L.A., Dr. Howard J. Fullman centered next to Dr. Earnestine Thomas-Robertson with former Congresswoman Diane E. Watson with Tim Petlin far right, Mayor of Gardena Tasha Cerda far left, and attendees at the The Inaugural Luncheon for the Pacific Region Oasis. Courtesy Photo

Pacific Region Oasis Lifelong Adventure Los Angeles office held their Inaugural Luncheon on Wednesday, May 24th at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Culver City. Community members and medical staff from PROLA and Kaiser Permanente attended and spoke on the behalf of the anticipation of the opening of Kaiser Medical facility in Baldwin Hills.

PROLA Board of Directors: Dr. Earnestine Thomas-Robertson, Dr. Marie Louise Johnson, Tim Petlin, Marcia Kerz, Lois King, Ronald C. Banks, Kayretha Hale-Willis, and Lyndsey Reichardt attended the special fundraising event in celebration of Kaiser Permanente.

The Crenshaw District continues its growth with a soon-to-be new medical facility in the neighborhood. Kaiser Permanente located at Marlton Avenue and Santa Rosalia Drive in Baldwin Hills will provide medical services and programs for the community.

“One of the reasons for the Inaugural Luncheon was to raise the visibility of Pacific Region Oasis. More people need to enjoy the benefits from the classes and programs offered at our organization. Los Angeles County is the largest county in the United States and is home to an increasingly diverse population. In California, Los Angeles County has the highest number of adults over age 65, a population that is expected to grow 43% in between 2015 and 2020. Given 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition in the United States, healthcare providers and community-based organizations, like Oasis, are called to collaborate, creating healthy communities and reducing costs related to the management of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis,” Dr. Robertson states.

According to Dr. Robertson, Pacific Region Oasis is key because Oasis is two blocks away from the new Kaiser facility and offers some great programs that are in sync with Kaiser. “Oasis offers classes and programs that emphasize health as wealth, prevention, evidence-based programs, and managing wellness to keep adults out of emergency rooms. We believe the two entities embrace the same philosophy about wellness and each serve the same purpose, though in different ways. Oasis can serve individuals who need specific health education best served through evidence-based health programs like A Matter of Balance, Stanford University Chronic Disease, Diabetes Self-Management Programs and others,” she said.

The Inaugural Luncheon for the Pacific Region Oasis honored those advocating for healthcare and wellness and informed the residents of what’s to come from both medical operations.

Dr. Howard J. Fullman, Area Medical Director and Chief of Staff at Kaiser Permanente, West Los Angeles was the keynote speaker for the luncheon. He addressed staff and the community on Kaiser’s goals to assisting the Crenshaw District with medical services. Dr. Fullman talked about the capability of doctor-patient consultation in “real time virtual consultation using technology driven applications, where the doctor could potentially be in the office and the patient could potentially be at home; and the time when perhaps there will be no wait time for office visits,” said Dr. Robertson.

Graduating nurses from Los Angeles Southwest College Courtesy Photo

He announced that the physician in charge of the new Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices is Dr. Erique Emel. Dr. Fullman was presented with a certificate for his outstanding work in healthcare from the office of the Honorable Autum Burke, along with the Oasis Lifelong Adventure plaque by Dr. Robertson.

Dr. Eaton was honored at the inaugural luncheon for her advocacy in promoting and investing in healthcare and wellness in the Crenshaw community. She has a background in Gerontology and is a retired department chair and professor from Whittier College. Dr. Eaton has served on the board of directors for over the course of seven years and remains an advisor to the organization. She was chief of staff for the late State Senator Theresa Hughes, and campaigned for the Kaiser Medical Facility in Baldwin Hills 20 years ago. Dr. Eaton was presented with a scroll from the office of the Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor of the 2nd District and Tim Petlin.

Mrs. Marcia Kerz, National President of the Oasis Institute based in St. Louis, Missouri, who has forged the direction of Oasis around the country for several years and just retired was presented with the Oasis Lifelong Adventure plaque by retired Chief of the Inglewood Police Department and Oasis Board Member, Mr. Ronald Banks and the general manager of the city of Los Angeles Department of Aging, Ms. Laura Trejo.

In attendance were eleven graduating nurses from Los Angeles Southwest College along with a mentor/professor, Dr. Elizabeth Wider. Two newly graduated medical doctors from Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science were chosen to train and do their residency with Kaiser Permanente as a result of the Match Program were recognized.

The partnership between Pacific Region Oasis and Kaiser brings great value to the community. The collaboration between them not only affects the well-being of those in the neighborhood, but influences businesses, economy, jobs and the overall climate of the community.

“The primary objective is healthcare and wellness,” states Dr. Robertson. “The Kaiser medical offices will serve and estimated 50,000 area patients who will not have to drive or seek transportation to go 15 to 25 miles and back for care. This is a great opportunity for us to coalesce. This also speaks to jobs across the healthcare continuum. Jobs, housing, real estate means economic development, input from the empowerment congress and chambers of commerce increases community sustainability.”

Vice President/COO Pamela Bakewell of the Bakewell Company and Managing Editor Brandon I. Brooks for the Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times attended the luncheon.

“In the coming months we expect to demonstrate the title found on the National Oasis Institute’s annual report: “The Best Is Yet To Come,” concluded Dr. Robertson.

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