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Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Oral History Project[1970 - Present]
About the Project
Project Themes and Interviews
Year 1: Evidence-Based Medicine
Year 2: Kaiser Permanente "Core Values"
Year 3: Diversity and Culturally Competent Care
Year 4: Government Regulation and Public Policy
Year 5: A Viable Economic Model
KP Founding Generation
Multimedia
Multimedia
Relevant Resources

Project Themes and Interviews—Year 3: Diversity and Culturally Competent Care

Year 3 Overview

Narrator Transcripts

Michael Allerton, MS: Michael Allerton attended UC Davis as an undergraduate and then began work as a nighttime orderly at Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek. Allerton quickly moved up at the hospital, first as a lab technician then as a health educator. As a health educator, and a gay man, Allerton was one of the first employees in Kaiser Permanente to push for a serious education program in the wake of the emerging AIDS crisis of the early 1980s. Throughout much of that decade he developed educational materials and presented talks that encouraged his audiences to approach the AIDS epidemic in a rationale and caring manner. Allerton earned a graduate degree in medical ethics and then moved into the position of HIV Operations Policy Leader. In this interview, Allerton discusses the response of Kaiser Permanente to the AIDS epidemic as well as his career in health education and policy. Approximately 8 hours, 30 minutes; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Amanda Calhoun, MD: Amanda Calhoun studied the history of medicine at Harvard University as an undergraduate and then decided to continue her studies of medicine in graduate school. She received her MD and MPH from Emory University. After a residency at UCSF, Calhoun accepted a position as a staff OB/GYN physician at Kaiser Permanente Richmond. In this interview, Dr. Calhoun discusses her interest in women’s health and the challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care in a diverse urban hospital. Approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Tracy Flanagan, MD [Interview sealed until 2028]: Approximately 2 hours; interview conducted by Aliza Simons and Martin Meeker.

Juan Guerra, MD: Juan Guerra was born in El Salvador. He attended Pomona College as an undergraduate and then gained admission to the University of Illinois, Chicago, to study medicine. Upon graduation, Guerra took an internship and residency at Kaiser Permanente Oakland. He then worked in private practice as an obstetrician in Texas before being hired by the Permanente Medical Group in 2001. In this interview, Dr. Guerra discusses the challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care in a diverse urban hospital, with particular attention to language barriers and health disparities. Approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Rachel Hartshorn, MD [In process]: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Daniel Klein, MD: Daniel Klein was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He attended Dartmouth as an undergraduate and then Cornell Medical School. His interest in internal medicine, as well as social justice aspects of health care, took him to the University of New Mexico for a residency in which he worked closely with Native American Indians. He then served in the US Public Health Service in San Francisco, where he encountered the sexual revolution and counterculture as a physician. After a short stint in private practice, in 1983 Dr. Klein joined the Permanente Medical Group at the Hayward hospital where he specialized in infectious disease. Dr. Klein soon became the on-site HIV/AIDS specialist. In this interview, Dr. Klein discusses the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS within Kaiser Permanente, the organizational response to the epidemic, and the transformation of his practice with the emergence of effective antiviral medications in the 1990s. Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Ronald Knox [In process]: Approximately 4 hours; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Carole Lietzke, RN: Carole Lietzke’s early interest in a career in medicine was put on hold due to marriage and the obligations associated with raising a family. She eventually became a registered nurse and then a nurse midwife, working for several years at Kaiser Permanente Hayward. In this interview, Lietzke details the unique elements of work as a nurse midwife in a prepaid, group practice setting as well as the challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care in a diverse suburban hospital patronized by many recent immigrants and non-English speakers. Approximately 2 hours; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Susan Lindheim, MD: Susan Lindheim was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and initially chose to study sociolinguistics. Although she remained interested in the issues of difference and inequality related to that field, she instead attended medical school, getting her MD from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York. After earning an MPH at UC Berkeley, Dr. Lindheim took a residency at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, eventually becoming a staff pediatrician with Kaiser. In this interview, Lindeim discusses her work as a bilingual pediatrician and her advocacy of culturally-competent care within Kaiser Permanente. Approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

George Matula, MD: George Matula attended Swarthmore College as an undergraduate and then medical school at Temple University. He engaged in post-graduate work at the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, and Northwestern, and spent a year on the Berry Plan at Camp Pendleton. Matula worked as a staff physician at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco in the 1970s where he was first exposed to the medical dimensions of sexual subcultures. While serving as Interim Chief of Infectious Diseases at UCSF in 1981, Matula encountered some of the earliest cases of AIDS in the United States. In this interview, Dr. Matula discusses the response by Kaiser Permanente to the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. He also details his participation in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group with the Stanford Medical Center as a Kaiser Permanente physician and the development of treatment regimens beginning with AZT in the late 1980s. Approximately 6 hours, 40 minutes; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Dave Newhouse, MD: Dave Newhouse was exposed to progressive notions about women’s rights and birth control early in life, which he claims led him to a career in medicine. He attended medical school at Michigan State University, took his residency in the Panama Canal Zone, and then earned his MPH at UC Berkeley. He joined the Permanente Medical Group and practices OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hayward and Fremont. In this interview, Dr. Newhouse discusses the role of gender in OB/GYN departments with diverse patient populations as well as the overall challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care. Approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Naomi Newhouse, RN: Naomi Newhouse was influenced by Second-Wave Feminism to enter into a career in women’s health. After earning at BS in nursing at San Francisco State University, she enrolled in the UCSF program in midwifery. Working as a nurse midwife at Kaiser Permanente Hayward, Newhouse also started to play an active role in the California Nurse Midwife Association and legal and policy issues surrounding her profession. In this interview, Newhouse discusses the challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care in a diverse hospital patronized by many recent immigrants and non-English speakers. Approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Nora Salvador, MD: Nora Salvador was raised in Oakland, California, where she was a member of Kaiser Permanente. She attended medical school and completed her residency at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she specialized in OB/GYN. Upon completion of her residency in 2001, Salvador joined the OB/GYN department at Kaiser Permanente Richmond. In this interview, Dr. Salvador discusses the challenges and possibilities of practicing culturally-competent care in a diverse urban hospital, with particular attention to language barriers and health disparities. Approximately 1 hour; interview conducted by Aliza Simons.

Elizabeth Sandel, MD: Elizabeth “Betsy” Sandel was born and raised in central Pennsylvania and attended Bucknell as an undergraduate. Interested in pursuing a career in community organizing, Sandel enrolled in the Boston University School of Theology and then took a position in campus ministry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. While working on women’s issues at the university, Sandel decided to return to school to study medicine, first in the post-baccalaureate pre-med program at Bryn Mawr and then at the Medical College of Pennsylvania where she earned her MD. After completing her residency at Thomas Jefferson University, Sandel began practicing in physical and rehabilitative medicine. She joined the Permanente Medical Group in 1997 as the Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Vallejo. In this interview, Dr. Sandel discusses culturally-competent care with particular attention to people with disabilities. Approximately 7 hours, 45 minutes; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Tracy Seo, MD: Tracy Seo first became interested in medicine after witnessing a close relative’s struggle with health problems. Her interest in the provision of culturally-competent care also emerged at this time. She was educated at the University of Chicago and then attended medical school at the Medical College of Ohio; she held an internship at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and took her residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She was hired by the Permanente Medical Group as an OB/GYN in 2002. In this interview, Dr. Seo discusses the relationship of race and ethnicity to health care delivery. Approximately 45 minutes; interview conducted by Aliza Simons..

Ellamae Simmons, MD: Ellamae Simmons’s remarkable life story begins when she was born in 1918 in Mount Vernon, Ohio, into one of the only two Black families in that town. After graduating from high school, Simmons applied to nursing school at Ohio State, but was rejected because the university claimed it could not accommodate Black nursing students. She then enrolled in Hampton, a historically-Black college, and learned for the first time about African-American history and leaders. After completing her degree in nursing, Simmons attempted for about a decade to gain admission to a medical school, eventually enrolling in Howard University’s medical school. In 1965, Simmons became the first African-American female physician hired by Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, where she worked as an allergist for over two decades. In this interview, Dr. Simmons discusses the long sweep of the history race in the United States with special attention to health care. Approximately 2 hours; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

Gayle Tang, RN [In process]: Approximately 6 hours; interview conducted by Martin Meeker.

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