Kaiser Permanente Scholars Academy Awarded Lotus Recognition™

For Immediate Release

Deerfield, FL — July 2023: Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) is pleased to announce that the latest Lotus Recognition™ has been awarded to Kaiser Permanente Scholars Academy, a Distinguished National Caring Science Affiliate of WCSI.

The Kaiser Permanente Scholars Academy has been awarded the prestigious Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) Lotus Recognition™ in celebration of Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s authentic commitment to nurturing deep human-to-human connections and measuring the impact of our programs while sustaining caring healing cultures for employees, patients, and communities well into the future.

The Scholars Academy is grounded in the 10 Caritas Processes® and this foundation supported the co-creation of the original Watson Caring Science learning modules in 2011. Northern California care teams came together to redesign and pilot a revised Caring Science Series in 2022 to support healing and emergence from the challenges of COVID-19. Enhancements included new content regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion that aligned with core values and offered a Facilitator’s Guide. Our primary intent was to help nurses and care teams reaffirm their connection to purpose and calling to serve while reinforcing the ethical-moral imperative to continually advance professional nursing practice and foster self-care behaviors that support resilience and minimize compassion fatigue. Watson’s Caring Science and the 10 Caritas Processes® offer a common language that helps teams see, act upon, and practice consciousness and authentic presence while nurturing caring moments. This culture shift enables teams to grow beyond mere doing to encompass the more holistic and continually evolving aspects of being and becoming as nurses and caring communities in motion.

In addition to these programs, an IRB-approved study was conducted to measure the effectiveness of the new Caring Science series. The study’s outcomes indicated that those who completed the education series identified a deeper understanding of Watson’s Caring Science and a significant improvement in, self-care behaviors, caring leadership behaviors, organizational caring behaviors, compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Dr. Janet Sohal, Regional Director of the KP Nurse Scholars and Research and Innovation Academies shared, “The overwhelming response and outcomes of the initial study resulted in a region-wide strategy to integrate learnings, expand the study, and spread the enhanced Caring Science series to our 21 medical centers across Northern California.”

The Kaiser Permanente Caring Science Series includes 4 modules titled:

  • Creating the Caring Connection: Our Professional Practice
  • Being and Becoming: Taking Care of Self and Others
  • The Healing Environment: Providing Care to Our Patients and Members
  • Caritas Consciousness: Evolving Our Care Environments

“Congratulations to all at KP Scholars Academy,” said Dr. Jean Watson Founder & Director, WCSI, “this recognition allows us to move these profound caring moments from the margins and celebrate them!”

The Scholars Academy, based in Oakland, California supports the advancement of professional excellence and integration of Watson’s Caring Science through its diverse programs, expert resources, and commitment to the Kaiser Permanente’s Nursing Legacy. It is a legacy where Caring Science values were articulated and embodied by its early nurses and leaders in the 1940s. The Scholars Academy is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Regional Patient Care Services and Professional Excellence team. Kaiser Permanente serves over 4.5 million members in Northern California with 28,000 nurses, 21 hospitals, 290 medical offices, and outpatient facilities from Fresno to Sacramento and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

For over 75 years, Kaiser Permanente’s vision of Total Health has included a unique focus on prevention, holistic practices, and a firm commitment to nursing professional excellence. The bold KP model of wellness versus the dominant US model of sick care was highly controversial in its time and helped foster a culture of disruptive innovation. As the first and largest affiliate of WCSI, Kaiser Permanente and the Scholars Academy embraced Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, 10 Caritas Processes®, and Unitary Caring and Healing concepts as a way of reconnecting nurses to their original calling to serve. Kaiser Permanente nurses help integrate and actualize the organization’s Nursing Professional Practice Model, transform healing environments for caregivers, and create Caring Moments among care teams and between fellow nurses, patients, and families.

“The early introduction of Human Caring Programs beginning in 2008, was followed by the progressive introduction of over 130+ Caritas Coaches®, 120+ HeartMath trainers and creation of Regional KP Consortia which hosted the 12th and 25th International Caritas Consortia (ICC),” shared Dr. Jim D’Alfonso, Executive Director of Professional Excellence and the Scholars Academy. Other programs include Equine Leadership and youth programs, funding curricula development with Academic Practice Partners, participation in new Caritas Leadership programs, and a growing list of innovations, original research, scholarly projects, publications, and presentations reflecting Kaiser Permanente’s treasured designation as a WCSI Distinguished Affiliate. The Scholars Academy continues to seek new ways to innovate and spread Watson’s Caring Science, both internally and in support of other health care systems around the world. The creation of the Kaiser Permanente Caring Science Academy in 2023 and the release of the KP Caring Science Series (4-dynamic learning modules and a facilitator guide), which will be made available to WCSI Affiliates, will ensure nurses and other caregivers will continue to innovate, inculcate, and spread caring healing best practices.

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente Scholars Academy, visit: nursescholars.kaiserpermanente.org.

WCSI created Lotus Recognition™ to celebrate real-life examples of the values, philosophy, and human caring theory guided by Watson's Caring Science and reflects the organization's caring-healing culture for team members, patients, and communities. For further information, contact Dianne Reid, Program Enrichment Director, at dianne@watsoncaringscience.org.

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