The Kaiser Foundation is a name which, for many, is synonymous with health-care research and policy initiatives in U.S. medical care. However, several nonprofit organizations exist that bear this name, and not all of them offer grant opportunities to help fund health care projects. However, each organization is involved in some aspect of health-care policy development and offers various resources for individuals or groups looking to become more educated about the health-care issues. Financial awards that are available tend to fund either community access to health care or education on health care policy.
Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation is a U.S. nonprofit foundation focused on health care and communication issues, specifically those primarily affecting the United States. The foundation, inspired by the health-care work of businessman Henry J. Kaiser, uses funding sources to develop communication and research projects. Instead of funding individual health care and communication projects, the Kaiser Family Foundation seeks to be a major provider of health-care policy research, a developer of large-scale public health campaigns and an informational hub for its own research.
The Kaiser Family Foundation provides various resources to be used by reporters and health-care policy makers that can be accessed directly through the foundation's official website. The KFF provides free access to research on a variety of health topics, including Medicaid, Medicare, HIV/AIDS, prescription drugs and U.S. global health policy. The foundation also coordinates special projects providing additional health care policy analysis, such as Kaiser polls and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid & the Uninsured. The foundation does offer one scholarship opportunity for students interested in providing health care to underserved populations, the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program. Students accepted into this program attend an 11-week course of seminars and health care policy education; grant funding from the KFF helps defray expenses for students.
Although not directly affiliated with the Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser Permanente is another organization that sprang from the work of Henry Kaiser. This nonprofit health-plan organization, stationed in California, is dedicated to bringing low-cost health care to U.S. residents, especially those living in the Western United States. The Kaiser Permanente organization, unlike KFF, does support grant funding initiatives to help support individual health care projects. In 2009, Kaiser Permanente approved 739 Community Benefit grant opportunities to fund health-care initiatives in San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles, with grant funding totaling about $43 million.
Canadian Kaiser Foundation
Focused on many of the same health issues as its U.S. counterparts, the Kaiser Foundation national organization serving Canada has been working since 1985 to increase awareness of Canadian health issues, specifically mental health and addiction issues. This foundation's public grant-funded projects include support of the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Although the Canadian Kaiser Foundation does not offer direct grant funding for medical projects, its National Awards for Excellence Program offers seven annual award recipients $10,000 to be donated to the community agency or charity of their choice.