Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
On behalf of Kaiser Permanente, this letter is to express our support of the planning phase of Joshua’s House, a hospice for the terminally ill homeless to be located on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento.
We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.
For more than 70 years, our mission at Kaiser Permanente has been to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve by delivering outstanding quality care and personalized service. Kaiser Permanente is committed to building partnerships with the organizations that serve on the front lines of health care for the uninsured and underserved and are pleased to provide a $15,000 investment in Health Communication Research Institute to support Joshua’s House.
We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.
Sandy Sharon, RN, MBA
Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Sacramento Medical Center