K.M. Tan, MD

Radiology, San Rafael

Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Services

“I’m proud that we have managed to create something tangible that provides not only needed personnel for Kaiser Permanente, but also an opportunity for members of the community to become health care professionals.”

A shortage of radiology technicians was a perennial problem that many people in KP talked about, but nobody took action to solve – until 1989. That’s when Dr. Tan, then Chief of Radiology at Richmond, and Gwen Jackson, Radiology Manager, teamed up to create the KP School of Radiology Technology. With funding from TPMG, and in collaboration with Kaiser Foundation Hospitals/Health Plan, the Contra Costa College, and the Private Industry Council of Richmond, the first class of 18 radiology technologists graduated from the two-year program in 1991.

“The biggest challenge in the beginning was putting together something brand new. Every start-up has challenges,” Dr. Tan relates. “It was tough, but we had great support, so it worked out very well.” Since then, the school has expanded to provide training in sonography, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and phlebotomy, and changed its name to the KP School of Allied Health Services. Of the approximately 70 imaging professionals who graduate each year, about 80% become KP employees. The school is currently considering launching a program to train Medical Laboratory Technicians. Dr. Tan continues to serve as the President and Medical Director, and is an active member of the Board of Directors.