Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente and the healthcare community as a whole is mourning the loss of a champion as it was reported that CEO Bernard Tyson died Sunday at the age of 60.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, unexpectedly passed away early today in his sleep. On behalf of our Board of Directors, employees and physicians, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bernard’s family during this very difficult time,” Kaiser Permanente told FOX Business in a statement.
The California-based health care organization described Tyson as “an outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”
Tyson was a trailblazer at Kaiser Permanente, becoming the organization’s first African American CEO in 2013. That trailblazing mentality was something he kept as he sought to open doors for others by championing diversity in the workplace.
“Inclusiveness is very important to me and that means when I step into the room — yes, I may be different from everybody at the table — but I don’t have to ‘fit in.’ I get to come in and be who I am and I create a different organism inside of that group dynamic for us to take performance to the next level,” he said, according to CNN.
Regarding diversity in the workplace, Tyson said he believed in bringing in the most “diverse populations” to Kaiser Permanente and “tapping into the brilliant minds that come from a “universe of experiences that are very different depending on how you grew up, your community, your neighborhood, how you solve problems.”
Because of his award-winning approach to providing healthcare for all, including those in the Black community, BlackDoctor.org Awarded Tyson with a Top Blacks in Healthcare Award in 2014.
Under Tyson’s direction Kaiser Permanente just spendt $5.2 million to buy a 41-unit housing complex in East Oakland to keep low-income residents in their homes.
The move is the first big deal since Kaiser promised in May to spend $200 million to fund affordable housing and fight homelessness.
Kaiser is also co-sponsoring a $100 million loan fund to create and preserve multifamily rental homes across Kaiser’s service areas, as well as providing homes for 500 homeless individuals in Oakland.
Tyson’s career at Kaiser Permanente began more than 30 years ago. He was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the company is headquartered, and attended Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
In 2013, Tyson became CEO of Kaiser Permanente, and quickly help grow it to be one of the nation’s…