MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Wednesday, 01 July 2015
CONTACT: Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Patients Accuse Kaiser Permanente of Prioritizing Public Relations Over Legally-Required Medical Care

Telephone news press conference on Wednesday will detail charges that Kaiser launched retaliatory ad campaign after obtaining confidential documents

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- On Wednesday, July 1st, a former Kaiser Permanente doctor and Kaiser mental health patients/members of Courage Campaign Institute will hold a telephone news press conference call to address the decision by Kaiser Permanente to launch a retaliatory ad campaign, rather than address its long standing and illegal treatment of mental health patients.

Confidential copies of Courage Campaign Institute’s new BART ad campaign promoting its site TheRealKaiserPermanente.com were leaked to Kaiser Permanente. As a result, Kaiser Permanente launched a retaliatory campaign, with ads mirroring Courage’s ads, on the very day the original ads from Courage Campaign also launched.

“If Kaiser responded to the needs of its mental health patients as urgently as it did our ad campaign, we wouldn’t be running our campaign in the first place,” said Dr. Paul Song, executive chairman of the California-based Courage Campaign and a practicing oncologist.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Dr. Paul Song, Executive Chairman of Courage Campaign Institute and practicing oncologist; Dr. Laura Wakil, former Kaiser psychiatrist, Teresa Odum, Kaiser patient; Sarah Dougherty, wife of Kaiser patient; Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director, Courage Campaign Institute
WHEN: Wednesday, July 1st.  12:00pm PT
NUMBER: 1-(888)-466-9863
CODE: 9957-935#

Courage Campaign Institute’s ad campaign inside BART trains throughout the Bay Area aims to draw attention to Kaiser Permanente’s failure to provide legally-mandated mental health services. State regulators have repeatedly reprimanded Kaiser for these failures, including a $4,000,000 fine in 2013 and follow up report in 2015 showing that the violations continue.

VIEW A PHOTOS OF COURAGE CAMPAIGN INSTITUTE’S AD HERE:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.couragecampaign.org/images/Healthcare_KaiserBARTAds_InteriorShots.pdf

VIEW HIGH RESOLUTION VERSION OF THE AD ARTWORK HERE: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.couragecampaign.org/images/Healthcare_KaiserAds_Press.pdf

VIEW A PHOTO OF KAISER PERMANENTE’S RETALIATORY AD HERE:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.couragecampaign.org/images/Healthcare_KaiserBartAds_Retaliation.JPG

The ads, paid for by the California-based Courage Campaign Institute, invite commuters  to visit the website TheRealKaiserPermanente.com to read first-person testimonials from actual Kaiser mental health patients in California, and their families and caregivers, offering detailed accounts of their experiences with Kaiser’s inadequate mental health services and the harm experienced by themselves or their loved ones. The public is invited to contribute additional testimonials based on their own experiences.

VIEW THE WEBSITE HERE: www.TheRealKaiserPermanente.com

Kaiser Permanente, California’s largest health insurer has admitted wrongdoings in the past -- paying a near record-breaking fine of $4,000,000 for putting the lives of thousands of mental health patients at risk by not providing timely care, and forcing patients with serious mental health illnesses to wait weeks or even months for care.  Still, the insurance giant -- which made $3 billion alone last year -- has refused to staff its mental health departments with enough clinicians to handle the ever-rising caseload.

Earlier this year, nearly 16,000 people, including nearly 5,000 Kaiser members, signed onto a petition calling on Kaiser Permanente’s CEO Bernard Tyson to “stop putting profits before patients and provide quality mental health care for your members who need timely treatment.” 

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/TheRealKaiserPermanente/

Courage Campaign backs common sense proposals -- like the one submitted by the National Union of Health Workers (NUHW) proposals for clinician-management committees to work together to reduce wait times for mental health patients seeking treatment and determine each facility’s staffing needs.

For more information or for interviews with Courage Campaign, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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