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OAKLAND, Calif.— The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will be named in honor of late Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, reflecting Tyson’s commitment to the future of health care and the school. The decision by the Board of Directors of the School of Medicine was announced today at the memorial service in San Francisco for Tyson, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on November 10.
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, located in Pasadena, California, is scheduled to welcome its inaugural class of medical students next summer.
“Bernard Tyson’s passion for this medical school was a driving force in its creation and will be a daily reminder of his own lived commitment to equity, diversity, and courageous leadership,” said Holly J. Humphrey, MD, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine board chair and president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “These same values are at the core of the mission and vision of this school and will serve to inspire current and future generations.”
“Bernard’s vision for the School of Medicine was to help transform health and health care in America, a vision that continues to inspire us every day,” said Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, founding dean and CEO, of the medical school.
“The brilliant new medical students who will receive their education at our school, learning the tenets of Permanente Medicine and our Kaiser Permanente system of care, and the world-class physician faculty who teach them, will serve as a testament to the medical excellence we have at the heart of our mission”, said Edward M. Ellison, MD, an executive sponsor and board member for the school, Co-CEO of the Permanente Federation, and executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. “Bernard’s shared commitment to our mission and values allowed us to achieve this dream together.“
Tyson’s career with Kaiser Permanente spanned more than 30 years. He was named CEO of Kaiser Permanente in 2013 and chairman of the Board of Directors in 2014. Over the course of his career, he successfully managed nearly every major part of the organization’s health plan and hospital system, serving in roles from hospital administrator and division president to chief operating officer before assuming the top posts.
“Bernard understood that social determinants of health such as housing, transportation and food – circumstances outside the walls of our clinics and hospitals – have a huge impact on personal and community health,” said Ed Pei, chair of the board executive committee of Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals. “Bernard drove us as an organization to take a stake in housing and food security, clean air, safe recreational space, and reducing gun violence, among other concerns. These and other topics will be woven into medical education at the new school, and that consciousness among generations of newly minted physicians will be a lasting part of Bernard’s legacy as a national health care leader.”
“Bernard spent his entire career focused on ensuring greater access to affordable, high-quality health care for all, and I know the school that now bears his name will help carry this legacy into the future,” said Gregory A. Adams, interim chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.
Principal clinical education at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine will take place in Kaiser Permanente medical centers throughout the Los Angeles area and across the country. Students will benefit from the Permanente physicians, clinical teams, data, and technology of Kaiser Permanente, which is known for its integration of comprehensive health services, quality of care, and excellence in diversity and inclusion.
Plans for the school were announced in 2016, with the aim of redesigning physician education around the pillars of patient-centered care, population health, quality improvement, team-based care, and health equity. Students will learn to provide outstanding clinical care and to address the factors outside the healthcare system that affect health and disparities.
The school began accepting applications from prospective students in June 2019 for admission to the school’s first class, which will begin in the summer of 2020. Earlier this year, the school announced that it will waive all tuition for the full four years of school for its first five classes.
About the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine will offer more than a conventional medical education. It will provide students with the opportunity to be immersed in Kaiser Permanente’s groundbreaking integrated health care system, one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations. Students will have longitudinal clinical experiences in settings that excel in patient-centered care and population health, and participate in a small-group, case-based medical curriculum in a learning environment that embraces all dimensions of diversity and values their well-being. The School’s approach will prepare future physicians to become collaborative, transformative leaders in health care and help our nation’s communities thrive. Learn more at medschool.kp.org.