Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center Deputy Chief Medical Officer Wins North Bay Women in Business Award
Kendal Hamann, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Outpatient Quality and Experience at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2021 Women in Business Awards from the North Bay Business Journal.
Professional experience: I am a Certified Endocrinologist and joined Kaiser Permanente in 2007. I currently oversee Covid Care Experience, Outpatient Quality and Outpatient Operations in Santa Rosa and am Head of the Endocrinology Department in Santa Rosa.
Education: Bachelor of Science at University of California San Diego in chemistry; MD of UC San Diego; internal medicine residency at UC Davis; UC Davis Endocrinology Fellowship
Tell us about yourself and your business: I have been working at Kaiser Permanente since the end of my medical training in 2007.
I am proud to work for an organization that embraces the HMO healthcare model and provides care to over 4.4 million people in Northern California. We provide cutting-edge care and lead the nation in preventative health like cancer screening and the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. These are the leading and two preventable causes of death, which makes our work incredibly powerful and rewarding.
Is there a major accomplishment over the past year that you would like to share?
I am proud to have started the Covid Monitoring Program for Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa at the start of the pandemic and to see it through the various outbreaks we have faced as a community.
This work was designed to educate and reassure people who are sick or exposed to the virus, to keep them at home and away from others when it was safe, and to intervene quickly if they needed additional care.
We called people daily who were positive for Covid, and still do. We had medicine delivered to their homes if they needed it, we provided medical care over the phone, and we provided emotional support to many people who were anxious and scared.
We’ve helped Covid patients feel good about staying home with mild symptoms, and we’ve helped catch them when they needed to come urgently for in-person care.
I have also co-led our Covid vaccine clinics, and to date Kaiser Permanente has provided just over 100,000 doses of Covid vaccine to residents of Sonoma County.
What is your biggest challenge today?
My biggest challenge is to say “no”.
Words that best describe you: Hard worker, shy and in love with the North Bay area.
The pandemic has placed an extraordinary burden on women. They had to manage distance learning for school-aged children, as well as juggle their own remote working conditions.
Personally, which of the adjustments you have had to make in your family life and career have been the most difficult?
I enjoyed the closeness to my family last year. I was able to understand first-hand the difficulties and successes of my children at school and their other activities.
My husband and I have developed new habits which include slowing down and taking the time to reflect and enjoy each other’s company. I would say having a “first week of school” in April of this year and understanding how all the round trips for training have been a major challenge in my personal life.
Professionally, I am fortunate that our video tour technology at Kaiser Permanente is state of the art even before the pandemic. Turning to care delivery in this new format was natural, although I missed seeing my patients in person in my endocrinology practice.
What about the women you work with or know outside of the workplace? What adjustments did they have to make?
My female colleagues have inspired me throughout the pandemic, especially those with young children in need of substantial help with online schooling. It is simply amazing what they have accomplished personally and professionally over the past year.
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you encountered and how did you overcome them?
Impostor Syndrome is real for many professional women.
Over the years, I have learned to develop my own sense of belonging and to understand that this doesn’t mean that I have to compromise my own humility and individuality. Many women and men have supported me throughout my career path, and their support has made all the difference.
Those mentors and colleagues who took the time to say, “you’re good at it, keep it up” as well as providing helpful feedback when needed, are treasures to me.
How do you think your profession will evolve over the next five years?
I hope that medicine will evolve to be more inclusive of all. No one should live a less healthy or a shorter life because of the lack of access to preventive care.
Who was your most important mentor? And tell us a bit about this person:
I am a first generation college graduate in my family. When I was little, I wanted to be a secretary or a cleaning lady.
These roles, along with the teachers, were the professions that I believed were available to me as a woman. And, as an incredibly shy person, I couldn’t imagine myself standing in front of a room full of students.
In high school, I had teachers who challenged me, inspired me and nurtured my academic passions. They opened up new possibilities for me. They literally opened the world to me and showed me the way forward for lifelong learning.
What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the world of work today?
Work hard. Challenge yourself. Keep going and keep growing. Listen to others AND listen to yourself.
Most Admired Businessman Outside Your Organization: Ruth bader ginsberg
Best place to work outside of your office: In the community, we hosted a Covid Vaccine Clinic at Wright Charter Elementary School in Roseland, a bicultural community in Santa Rosa. We worked with the Raizes Collective, which received a vaccine equity grant from Kaiser Permanente, and we vaccinated just over 160 people in three hours. Preventing illness and helping others always brings me joy.
Current reading: “Migrations” by Charlotte McConachy
Social networks you use the most: I barely use social media which is totally confusing for my kids. I enjoy one on one time with others over the phone or in person.
Anti stress : In progress. Music. Visual and performing arts.
Favorite hobbies : Watching ballets and visiting museums with my children in San Francisco or other cities around the world; fly fishing; my vegetable garden.
Is there anything we haven’t asked for that you would like to add?
Thanks for the recognition. There are countless other women I work with who deserve it just as much.