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Kaiser Permanente Physician to be Honored by National Kidney Foundation.

LANCASTER, Calif. -- The National Kidney Foundation of Southern California will be honoring Kaiser Permanente physician Phillip J. Tuso, MD, FACP at its 29th Annual Gift of Life Tribute Celebration Dinner on Sunday, May 18th at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Dr. Tuso will be honored with the "Spirit of Nephrology Award" for his hard work and dedication to the Foundation to Improve Renal Nutrition (FIRN), which he founded to help patients with kidney disease live longer and healthier lives through proper nutrition and education.

Dr. Tuso has developed a program through FIRN to provide protein supplements to malnourished patients with kidney disease who are otherwise unable to afford nutritional supplements. Over the past three years, many of Dr. Tuso's patients have benefited from this program. When the program started, the dialysis unit where Dr. Tuso cares for his patients was in the lower 5th percentile in national nutritional outcomes and over 60 percent of his patients were suffering from protein malnutrition. By the end of 2007, his dialysis unit was in the top 25th percentile for national nutritional outcomes and less than 30 percent of his patients were suffering from protein malnutrition.

Dr. Tuso has been practicing with Kaiser Permanente since 1993 and is currently a Regional Consultant for Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Population Care Management Program, Coordinating Chair of Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Regional Nephrology Committee, Medical Director of the Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Unit of the Antelope Valley, and Chair of the Quality Management Program of Lancaster Community Hospital. Dr. Tuso has authored three e-books on kidney disease and health, which are available without charge through FIRN's Website (firnav.org).

The star-studded Gift of Life dinner will also honor Samuel L. Jackson and, his wife, LaTanya Richardson with the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California's third annual "Humanitarian Award" for their dedication to the prevention of kidney disease in the African-American community.

Funds raised from this event support direct patient services for camp programs, specifically designed for children and teens suffering with kidney disease; the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), which screens those individuals at high-risk for kidney disease due to either high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease; patient education and referral services; and medical research.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's leading integrated health plans. Founded in 1945, it is a nonprofit, group practice prepayment program with Southern California headquarters in Pasadena, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California. Today it encompasses the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Region includes more than 55,800 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 6,400 physicians representing all specialties. More information about Kaiser Permanente can be found at www.kaiserpermanente.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 16, 2008
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