Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan foundation. The Foundation was established in 1948 by industrialist and American shipbuilding pioneer Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967) and his wife Bess. The Kaisers’ primary objective for their Foundation was to address “the unmet health care needs of the citizenry.” Although KFF is no longer associated with the Kaiser’s businesses (Kaiser Industries and Kaiser Permanente), members of the family continue to play active roles in the Foundation.
According to its website, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s principal concern today is “filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people.” Working from its Menlo Park, California headquarters with an endowment of over half a billion dollars and an annual operating budget of over $40 million, the Foundation supports research and communications regarding America’s major health care issues and the role of the United States in global health policy. In contrast to grant-making foundations that provide support to unaffiliated researchers, KFF designs and manages its own programs, though it sometimes collaborates with other non-profit research organizations and leading media agencies. As such, the Foundation serves as a primary source of free, non-partisan facts, research, and analysis for health specialists, policymakers, the media, and the general public. In a health system governed largely by self-serving commercial, political, and ideological players, the Kaiser Family Foundation serves as a rare independent source of sophisticated and trusted information.