A glorious sun rose above the early morning mist as I arrived for yet another happy day of working as a volunteer in Kaiser Permanente’s state-of-the-art San Diego Medical Center* that is celebrating its first birthday this month on April 25th. Happy Birthday SDMC!
As I looked to the east, I could see Kaiser Permanente Viewridge Medical Offices below and hear the morning chorus of birds. (Click on images to see them enlarged.)
According to Kaiser Permanente’s press release, “Designed for cleaner, greener energy, the new hospital uses cutting-edge technologies to produce its own electricity, heat and cooling, create less greenhouse gases and save water. These innovations have earned the San Diego Medical Center certification as a LEED Platinum health care facility.” “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently” (credit: Wikipedia). “Platinum” is LEED’s highest certification level. See LEED: Better buildings are our legacy.*
My concern for the environment goes back to my obtaining a B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers* in 1969. My concern for healthcare began as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy through to my retirement as an RN from the VA San Diego Healthcare System in 2003. These are just a few of the many reasons why I am so proud and excited to join Kaiser Permanente’s healthcare team as a Guest Services Volunteer!
Some call it “volunteeritis,” but I call it infectious enthusiasm and a great way of keeping my mind alert and my body exercised and thriving! “Thrive” has been Kaiser Permanente’s ad campaign tagline since 2004 and focuses on their dedication to preventive medicine and the goal of keeping its members healthy and thriving!
Last month we celebrated my 71st birthday (I’m another who’s just getting started) by buying our much anticipated 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited and selling the F-250, which closes the chapter of our 10 year adventures with our Airstream trailer, and opens a new era of more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable driving, while enjoying San Diego’s wonderful places.
The RAV4 (“Recreational Activity Vehicle, 4-wheel drive”) is the first compact crossover SUV and debuted in North America in 1995. In 1936 Toyota (at that time called “Toyoda” from the family name of the company’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda), built its first passenger car, Toyoda Model AA Sedan (See Jay Leno drive a replica)*. Today, Toyota is thriving (See “How Big is Toyota? They’ve Owned 27% of Tesla Motors!“*). Gas prices at the moment seem reasonable, but with the instability of world politics, economics, and oil production, we think the Toyota Hybrid System* is a better bet, especially since this will probably be our last car.
We preferred the SofTex* (synthetic leather) interior* and I wanted the warm tan color, “Cinnamon,” instead of the typical black (which could feel hot in the sun), but this color was hard to find at dealers and online, so I ordered one to be made for us, which was done in Aichi, Japan, (Toyota Headquarters)* last February (see Toyota’s Factory in Aichi),* and delivered in March. Relax for a moment and a take a tour of Aichi as seen in “Welcome to Aichi“* and see “Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.”*
Toyota Safety Sense* state-of-the-art technologies, such as Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, along with Blind Spot Monitoring and Parking Assist, help to protect us and enables us to drive safely with peace of mind and thrive.
See 2018 RAV4 Limited Hybrid Test Drive* and the fun”Toyota RAV4 Second Production series” music video.* We are still driving our 2001 Toyota Camry Solara, but our RAV4 is more comfortable, has greater accessibility and can carry more cargo safely and easily.
Oops, my Apple Watch Activity app* just reminded me that I’ve been sitting too long and it’s time to get up and stand for at least one minute. At the beginning of my workday, it reminds me to “Make it happen today” and keeps track of the number of my steps, which is often 9,383 or 4.24 miles in just the first half of my day at Kaiser Permanente SDMC!*
After eating a delicious lunch from SDMC’s Cafe Fresh salad bar, I took a walk on Thrive Walk, composed of walking paths featuring drought tolerant plants, tables and benches.
The Kaiser Permanente Thrive video, “Introducing the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center,”* says, “Environment plays a large part in the healing process… Patients, families, and visitors can find respite on 2 miles of walking paths, healing gardens, and in other quiet areas of repose.”
Eventually, I returned to SDMC’s Hospital Parking Structure that provides 2,367 parking spaces on seven levels. See 1,500 solar panels on the 7th level, which provides a portion of the hospital’s energy needs, in this Kaiser Permanente Thrive video!*
And got into our RAV4, sipped on cool water and turned on some cool music…
Life is good… and I’m thriving… and I believe “The Best is Yet to Come“* (Tony Bennett and Chayanne from Viva Duets)!*
*This is a link to a YouTube video.