2004 Inductee - Jose R. Rivera

2004 Inductee - Jose R. Rivera


Hospitals seem to be more important then ever before. Jose Rivera is in charge of Kaiser Permanente, one of the biggest hospitals in San Joaquin County. But he is also a community activist with clout.

Jose is the Medical Group Administrator responsible for a staff of over 800, including 140 doctors. Stockton’s Kaiser is the only hospital in the Kaiser system that has a 24-hour clinic.

Jose has fostered programs such as the “Adopt-a-School” program, HealthWorks, a 42-foot mobile health clinic that provides care in low-income neighborhoods and the Women’s Wellness Conference. He has also instituted the Spanish Language Appointment and Advice Call Center, the National Education Association’s Community Conversations on Education, the August School Clinic and San Joaquin A+ Literacy Committee.

Jose has spoken on diversity in many cities to many audiences. He has spoken in Boston, Chicago, Kansas, Pasadena, and other Southern California cities. He has addressed colleges, the Center for Disease Control, Latino groups and health groups such as the National Institute of Health. “Community involvement and the encouragement of diversity in the workplace have been, and continue to be, Mr. Rivera’s passion,” states his nomination papers.

He has earned numerous honors such as the National Hispanic Employers Association’s National Community Award in 1995, a “Star Billing” in Kaiser’s 1996 annual report and the Stockton’s Chamber of Commerce named him Manager/Operator of the year. He won a “Hero in Healthcare” Award and National Diversity Award, California division in 1999.

Mr. Rivera has implemented multiple programs that support career development within Kaiser for historically underrepresented groups. Under his direction, the Kaiser Stockton Medical Facility has developed both diversity and community programs that have been replicated on a national scale,” according to his nomination papers.

“Jose Rivera has leveraged his resources within Kaiser Permanente to reach out to the Hispanic population in San Joaquin County. Under his direction Kaiser Permanente has undertaken many community events and activities that have improved the health and well-being of the Hispanic population in the area,” reported his nomination papers.

Jose graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in psychology and masters in Public Health Administration. He was a resident at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco where he became one of the youngest assistant administrators in its history. He rose quickly through Kaiser’s ranks to achieve his present position. He is a past president of the Northern California chapter of the Kaiser Permanente Latino Association.

Education has been a concern of Jose’s. He has provided $ 30,000 to fund ten Cesar Chavez scholarships to Spanish-speaking students in Delta College’s nursing program. He has also assisted Delta College with its 9-90 Reading program that provides free tutoring to students who are reading below their grade level. For August School he has worked with SUSD to provide health care and health education to students and families surrounding the school.

Jose has created the Neighbors in Health community healthy fair that provides health screening, child immunizations, and other vital services to 5,000 uninsured or underinsured people each year. Kaiser has replicated this health fair at other sites in California and Denver.

Jose’s Spanish-language call center provides appointments and medical advice service for Kaiser’s Spanish speakers. The bilingual medical professional staffs the Latino diabetes program. It stresses culturally appropriate nutrition, exercise and mental wellness. In collaboration with the YWCA the Power Girls Program works on improving self-esteem, in young women.

The San Joaquin County Drug Court Program works in partnership with Kaiser to give the justice system an alternative mea to assist those in the system.