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BFB Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente, Folsom

This week, we’re sharing some highlights from our latest round of 100 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses. Today, we take a deeper dive on the strides Kaiser Permanente’s Folsom, Calif., Medical Offices has taken. We spoke with Anthony Retodo, MD, who is an Internal Medicine physician and avid cyclist. He also is the medical services director of Kaiser Permanente Folsom Medical Offices, in Folsom, California. 

What does this award mean to Kaiser Permanente’s Folsom Medical Offices?

Receiving this Silver Level award is truly a great honor and the result of a lot of hard work and passion that exists within our Kaiser Permanente family and the Folsom/Sacramento community.

This award shows everyone that our KP mission is to improve the overall health of our members, our family of healers and the Folsom/Sacramento community we serve. It shows to everyone that we really are engaged in the work needed to create a more healthy, green and thoughtful world. 

How does your guaranteed ride home voucher program work?

We are blessed to partner with Rebecca Garrison and the Transportation Management Association Corridor 50 movement to enhance and improve all alternative means of transportation along Highway 50 from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe. Because of this, we can offer our bicycle commuters a guaranteed vehicle ride home in the event of a family emergency if they are stuck at work and cannot bike back home.

The TMA provides up to six vouchers a year per rider for this free cab- ride-home service. This is a great incentive to encourage new cyclists. 

Tell us more about “Kaiser Pedal Power.”

One of the great things that happens when you bike is that you have the means to physically and spiritually connect with others that share your passion. Over the past few years, Kaiser Permanente’s Bicycle Users Groups have united and started to share talents and resources. “Kaiser Pedal Power” is our quarterly Digital PDF Newsletter created by Dr. Ruth Ann Bertsch and her Husband Dave Cassel to better highlight the power and direction of our cause.

We learn about bike repair tips and new trails to wander. We discover regional political movements to change transportation policy. We recruit riders to load miles for our annual “May is Bike Month” festivities. We share stories from fellow BUG members whose lives changed because of their love of cycling. We get to enjoy all the little things that make bicycle advocates happy, wise and healthy. 

How would you describe the bike culture at Kaiser Permanente?

Kaiser Permanente is a family of passionate healers and a few of us love to start our healing in the morning by commuting on our bikes. In the past few years, we have been slowly unifying our movement, learning as we go. We are not alone. Not all of us bike to work. Quite a few like to ride a stationary cycle in the gym. Many ride their mountain bike on trails on the weekends. Others like to join organized, multi-day rides to raise money to fight AIDS. I gather my friends to meet up for wine in Lodi.

Our “Live Well Be Well” employee wellness program sets up rides at noon for employees and physicians who prefer to pedal during the lunch hour. A lot of us know the power of the bike. This all stems from the wisdom that to be a better healer, you speak to it better if you know how to heal yourself. Bicycling is an extremely fun way to do this. Tapping into this excitement has made it easier for us to make Kaiser Permanente’s Folsom Medical Offices a Bicycle Friendly Business, an honor that we hope will soon be replicated at other Kaiser Permanente facilities that don’t yet have such a robust program.

How does bicycling enhance your organization?

Bicycling and being Bicycle Friendly fulfills our organization’s grand mission to create healthy and beautiful communities. Kaiser Permanente has always been about helping our members and the community prevent diseases. To be honest, great care and disease prevention does not come from medications, tests or consults with specialists. It comes from changes in behavior and doing the right things to keep our body/soul nourished, strong and more thoughtful to nature and those around us.

To ride, I must eat right, train right and be greatly aware of myself, nature and others who ride with me. It is so amazing how a simple commute to work can make the world always seem right. And it always starts a great day at Kaiser Permanente.