Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. It works in the areas of health policy analysis, health journalism and communication.
Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies.
They serve as a non-partisan source of facts, information, and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the public. Our product is information, always provided free of charge — from the most sophisticated policy research, to basic facts and numbers, to information young people can use to improve their health or elderly people can use to understand their Medicare benefits.
With an endowment of over half a billion dollars, Kaiser has an operating budget of over $40 million per year. The Foundation operates almost exclusively with its own resources, though they do occasionally receive funds from grant-making foundations, primarily to expand our global programs.
Areas of Work
Policy Analysis and Research
Fundamental to Kaiser’s mission is to serve as an evidence-based voice for people in the health system, using research and analysis (and often just basic facts) to foster understanding of increasingly complex policy issues in the U.S. Much of our work focuses on the issues and debates affecting those most vulnerable and disadvantaged, including Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, the uninsured, people living with HIV/AIDS, low-income women, and racial and ethnic minorities. They help policymakers and the media understand what’s driving changes in the health system, from increases in health care costs to declines in employer-provided health insurance to changes in big public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Kaiser is well-known for our highly-regarded public opinion research program through which they regularly probe the views and experiences of the public on health and related issues – often in partnership with major news organizations, such as our longest-standing partner, The Washington Post.
With attention to global health rising on the U.S. policy agenda in recent years, Kaiser tracks the U.S. role in global health on a daily basis.
Health News and Information
Kaiser both provides health policy news and information — giving free access to health policy news to level the playing field for access to information — and assists working journalists to improve the coverage of health in the mainstream media.
Through Kaiser Health News (KHN), a nonprofit news organization dedicated to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics, they provide high-quality, coverage of health policy issues and developments at the federal and state levels, in the health care marketplace and health care delivery system. KHN also provides daily summaries of news coverage of health from across the nation, original programming from Kaiser’s broadcast studio, and a broad range of perspectives from contributing writers and experts.
Through our other specialized Web sites, statehealthfacts.org and kaiserEDU.org, — as well as our online tools and gateways, they are a synthesizer and broker of data and information, providing timely and easy access to health news and facts worldwide.
Since 1993, when they began our principal fellowship program for journalists interested in U.S. health policy, hundreds of journalists have conducted in-depth reporting projects and participated in seminars, briefings, and site visits to gain extensive, firsthand knowledge about major health issues in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to our fellowship program for established reporters and editors in the U.S., they also run a large internship program for young minority journalists interested in specializing in health reporting. For journalists outside the U.S. reporting on HIV/AIDS, they organize briefings and frontline site visits, provide reporting materials, and sponsor travel/project awards for local journalists to do in-depth projects.
Public Health Information Campaigns
Kaiser develops and helps run large-scale public health information campaigns in the U.S. and around the world. These currently focus on HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on reaching young people. Kaiser campaigns are based on a new model of public service programming pioneered by the Foundation —direct partnerships with major media companies and a comprehensive “multi-platform” communications strategy that goes far beyond traditional “PSAs.” Current partners in the U.S. include MTV, BET, Univision, Viacom/CBS, and Fox. Together, Kaiser's campaigns reach tens of millions of people annually, and have won mutliple Emmy and Peabody awards in recent years.
Kaiser has also helped launch broadcast media initiatives around the world in Russia and India, as well as coordinated first-of-their-kind regional initiatives in Africa and the Caribbean now involving more than 100 broadcasters working together in almost 50 countries.
Over the past two decades, Kaiser has also maintained a major program in South Africa with the aim of helping South Africans establish a more equitable national health system and build a successful democracy. See more