History and Mission

“Since we began in 1991, our goal has been to build an institution that plays a special role as a trusted source of information in a health care world dominated by vested interests. That institution-building process continues today.”

– Drew Altman, Ph.D. President and CEO

One of Henry Kaiser’s favorite sayings was “find a need and fill it,” and that’s what the Foundation has tried to do.  While the original Foundation was established in 1948, it is in a sense a relatively young organization. Under the leadership of CEO Drew Altman, Kaiser was completely remade and a new KFF was established from the ground up beginning in 1991, with the mission, staff expertise, programs, legal status and operating style it is known for today.

The Foundation’s Trustees — including former policymakers and leaders from business, academia, and the non-profit community — serve a maximum of two five-year terms.  The Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.  Kaiser operates primarily with funds earned from managing its own endowment, augmented by support provided by external funders.