City Council Briefed on Latest Plans for New Kaiser Permanente Medical School in Downtown Pasadena

Published : Monday, March 20, 2017 | 4:44 AM

Pasadena’s City Council was updated Monday on the latest developments about Kaiser Permanente’s plan to establish its School of Medicine in Pasadena, a year after the largest integrated health care system in the nation announced it had chosen the City to host the school because of its proximity to affordable housing, public transit and major freeways.

“Pasadena offers some important attributes that align with our vision for the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine,” Bernard Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, said last year. “Pasadena is a vibrant and diverse community, and that diversity is essential to the model of medical education we want to establish as we prepare physicians for the practice of medicine in the 21st century.”

To pursue the project, Kaiser Permanente, through Skyler Denniston, senior development manager, submitted a Predevelopment Plan Review (PPR) application to redevelop the property located at 94 South Los Robles Avenue, on the southeast corner of Los Robles Avenue and Green Street, and build on it a four-story, 80,000 square-foot structure to house the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.

The structure will also contain a three-level subterranean parking garage with 226 parking spaces.

The details of the Predevelopment Plan Review will be presented Monday during the City Council regular meeting.

Kaiser Permanente’s project will involve the demolition of a three-story, 16,700 square-foot commercial office building that currently stands on the site and a surface parking lot.

Kaiser said the proposed project is for a medical school that could accommodate up to 192 students. The facility will be a fully accredited medical school for future physicians of Kaiser, providing a curriculum and teaching methods that focus on the latest in technology and patient medical care.

This use would complement similar workforce medical uses in the area that include Huntington Memorial Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Kaiser Permanente medical offices and other facilities.

By submitting the PPR, Kaiser indicates it has commenced their collaboration with the City to determine whether the project is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

Last year, Pasadena’s Public Health Director Michael Johnson said he had met with Kaiser representatives to discuss potential partnerships with medical school students who will rotate through the school’s programs. He said the school will have a positive benefit on community health.

Christine Cassel, planning dean for the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, also spoke about the “strong relationship” with Pasadena and the health department and the initial meetings they’ve had with City officials.

“Pasadena will be our campus and the students and faculty will be active consumers of our city’s cultural, residential, commercial offerings. It is also likely some of our faculty, administration and students will choose to call Pasadena home,” Cassel said. “This, combined with our collaborations with other local institutions of learning, will form numerous connections between our students, our school and the Pasadena community.”

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