Who We Are

About Us

The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) is the largest medical group in the United States—and one of the most distinguished. Our nearly 9,000 physicians and 35,000 nurses and staff are leading the transformation of health care, delivering superior clinical outcomes, and having a positive and often life-changing impact on the health of our 4.1 million patients in Northern California. Through nation-leading clinical quality, preeminent research and superior technology systems, we are able to care for our patients like no one else can.

In partnership with Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan in Northern California, we are a leader in cardiovascular, perinatal and neurosurgical care; sepsis survival; and HIV treatment. Our physicians innovate every day for better outcomes for patients, supported by some of the most comprehensive disease registries in the world and an integrated health care model. From our world-class electronic health record to a seamless care experience for our patients, we set the standard in health care.

TPMG Physicians
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Northern California Patients

Our History

Our unique brand of health care has deep roots. When America’s entry into World War II brought tens of thousands of workers pouring into the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, Calif., to meet the nation’s demand for big Liberty ships and aircraft carriers, Henry J. Kaiser turned to Sidney Garfield, MD, to solve the problem of how to provide health care for a teeming mass of 30,000.

Dr. Garfield had previously organized and run a 12-bed hospital in the middle of the Mojave Desert at the height of the Great Depression, treating workers who were building the Colorado River Aqueduct. He realized a prepayment system would enable him to treat illnesses and injuries, while emphasizing the importance of maintaining health and safety. Thousands of workers signed up. This same approach also was enormously popular with workers and their families at the Kaiser Shipyards.

With the closure of the shipyards at the end of the war, Dr. Garfield and six pioneering colleagues entered the uncharted waters of applying the concept of prepaid group practice to the general public. Together they founded The Permanente Medical Group in 1948, believing a physician-led, self-governed medical group would consistently place the needs of patients above competing interests. And they were right.

Throughout our history, providing high-quality and affordable health care has been at the heart of our success and has propelled TPMG to what we are today—a model for the rest of the nation.

Our Structure: Separate Organizations Committed to a Shared Mission, Vision and Values

The health care coverage and medical care provided under Kaiser Permanente represents the work of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (KFH) and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (KFHP), each a 501c3 not-for-profit company that provides hospital services and insurance coverage, and the work of the physicians and staff of the Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which are responsible for the organization and delivery of medical care. In Northern California, the PMG providing medical services is called The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG).

All three parts of Kaiser Permanente combine to provide these services to KFHP members. While KFH and KFHP are governed by a single board of directors, each of the PMGs is an independent, self-governed, self-managed, physician-led multispecialty medical group that provides patient care in each of the seven KP regions around the country.

Although each are separate legal entities, KFH, KFHP and the Permanente Medical Groups have had a mutually exclusive relationship for seven decades, in which we share:

  • A common mission of organizing and delivering high-quality, evidence-based health care that is affordable, convenient and personal, and improving the health of our members and the communities we serve
  • A vision of being the nation’s model for health care
  • Common values about health and health care for our members, patients and communities, which guide and inform what we do separately and together

Together we are leading the transformation of health care in this country.

Our Locations