In 1967, several Kaiser Permanente employees became interested in forming an employee’s credit union. After several discussions with the Oregon Credit Union League, these employees approached Kaiser’s Director of Personnel about organizing such a credit union.
It took four years, but on March 9, 1971, KaiPerm Oregon Federal Credit Union was formed with eight charter members, who each purchased a $5.00 share in the Credit Union.
In the first three months of operation, the Credit Union signed up 500 members. By September of 1973, the Credit Union had $148,000 in shares, $129,471 in loans, and one employee.
The Credit Union’s original field of membership was limited to those having the following common bond:
Employees of Kaiser Hospital and Family Health Plan and Permanente Services, Inc.; Divisions of the Kaiser Foundation Medical Care Program who work in Portland or Beaverton, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington; un-remarried spouses of members of this Credit Union; employees of this Credit Union; persons retired as pensioners and/or annuitants under private pension plans provided for the above employee groups; members of their immediate families; and organizations of such persons.
Over the years, we expanded our field of membership to include volunteers who work at the Kaiser Hospitals under the supervision of the hospital staff. We also broadened the definition of immediate family members to include grandparents, parents, husband, wife, children, grandchildren, brothers, and sisters, foster and adopted children, together with any of their spouses.
In 1985, the Credit Union’s name was changed to KaiPerm Northwest Federal Credit Union. As of December of 1996, the Credit Union had reached assets of $17,343,000. Our membership totaled over 6,000 persons.
Throughout its history, the Credit Union has been continually adding and improving services to its members. In 1983 we added Share Checking to our growing line of products, while VISA credit cards became available in 1986.
Our continuing growth in recent years made it necessary for the Board of Directors to seek a new location of an Administrative Headquarters. New offices were chosen in Clackamas, near the Kaiser Sunnyside campus. Remodeling began in October of 1988, and the facility officially opened on January 3, 1989.
In 1991, additional changes were made at the Credit Union, due in part to the economic times and the fact that we wanted to continue to provide convenient, cost-effective services to a greater number of members in various locations. This led to the closure of our branch at the recently renamed Central Interstate Medical Office in late summer of 1992.
We replaced this branch with one automated teller machine (ATM) located at Central Interstate and installed two more at KPB and Sunnyside Medical Center. The machines continue to provide service to credit union members, as well as anyone working at or visiting these facilities. Two other ATMs were installed in 1999, one at Salmon Creek and another at the Beaverton Medical facility. Two additional ATMs were placed in Lancaster Medical Center and Longview Medical Center in 2001. In 2003, a machine was also installed at Skyline Medical Center to better serve the membership.
In late 2000, the Credit Union relocated to the Kaiser Permanente Building in Portland, Oregon.
In 2001, the Credit Union again revised the field of membership to include Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, Kaiser Permanente, and domestic partners. In 2006, the Credit Union field of membership was amended to include Kaiser Permanente Insurance holders, also known as Value Association members.
Although we have grown from a small one-employee office to three full-service branches (Ambassador, KPB and Westside Hospital) with 14 employees and over $90 million in assets, we have never lost sight of our primary purpose of providing low-cost financial services to our members.