Ronald L. Copeland

Ronald L. Copeland, MD, FACS
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Kaiser Permanente


I am most inspired by people, famous or common, who, based on a relentless commitment to improve the human condition, demonstrate the ability to succeed against amazing odds, by virtue of their faith, resilience, personal courage, and tireless work ethic!

Accordingly, I am and have been inspired by many! It has convinced me that in all matters, “When your belief is strong and your purpose just, no obstacle can stand in your way.”


I try to motivate others by seeking first to understand their dreams and aspirations, and then helping them appreciate and visualize the positive difference that pursuit can make in the lives of others. Few things are more inspiring and motivational than witnessing firsthand how one’s efforts and contributions have transformed someone’s life in a positive fashion.


I try to give back through personal volunteering and charitable giving. Throughout my career I have actively served as a mentor, coached youth sports, served on numerous not for profit and community based organizational boards, and volunteered for special projects through Kaiser Permanente’s community service programs. As an African-American physician, I have a special and ongoing interest in supporting efforts to increase the number of African-American physicians and health professionals for the future.


One of the more important lessons I’ve learned in the course of my career is that you can’t convince people to invest in a proposed solution for a problem that they don’t believe that they have! You have to make the invisible, visible, and make a compelling case for relevancy to kick start engagement. Accordingly, advice is better served when asked for rather than presumed.

What I have learned about myself is what I’ve learned about and from other people, and that is: “Every life has a unique story to tell and every story has an empowering lesson to teach. If we are humble enough to listen, we will hear the story, learn the lesson, and be better positioned to make a more meaningful difference in the lives of those we are all so privileged to serve.”