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Kaiser Permanente Recognized for Ground-breaking Obesity Program for Improving Children's Health.

National Business Coalition on Health Presented Kaiser Permanente KP Kids Program with the eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Awards

PASADENA, Calif. -- The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), a nonprofit organization of employer-based health coalitions, has honored Kaiser Permanente's Kids in Dynamic Shape (KP KIDS) health plan with the 2008 eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Awards at its annual conference held in Washington, D.C.

"Plans selected for these awards have demonstrated strategies to address some of the most difficult issues facing health systems and purchasers including chronic disease management, obesity, provider performance measurement, transparency and rewards," said Dennis White, senior vice president of Value-Based Purchasing for NBCH.

"Kaiser Permanente KP KIDS program is an in-depth assessment process designed for the special needs and challenges of children with weight problems," said Joel D. Hyatt, MD, assistant medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. "The program targets overweight children 5-12 years of age with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile with the goal of not only educating overweight children and their families in healthy lifestyle behaviors but also providing tools in preventing pediatric obesity."

In 2004, statistics from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy indicated that the prevalence of overweight and unfit children in Panorama City was 35.6 percent and 51.3 percent, respectively. This alarming data motivated a multidisciplinary team at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center to develop a comprehensive, family-based lifestyle improvement program, KP KIDS, to address the obesity problem faced by the community.

"Because of the prevalence of pediatric overweight and obesity that was observed throughout California, in 2005-2006 KP KIDS was implemented in 8 Kaiser Permanente medical centers," said Mei Ling Schwartz, MPH, director, Health and Physician Education at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center.

Today, eleven Southern California and eight Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers have adopted KP KIDS. In addition, the program has been extended to nine community clinics, six elementary schools, four YMCAs and four Parks and Recreation Centers. In 2007, KP KIDS was adopted as a best practice for the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.

The awards, sponsored by Novo Nordisk Inc, identify and recognize the innovative and creative work of providers developing and implementing programs that address critical health care issues. Approximately 70 plans applied for the awards as part of information submitted on "Best Practices and Innovations" in NBCH's 2008 eValue8 submission tool, an annual evaluation of health plans used by employers and business coalitions.

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. 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 3.2 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 nearly 56,000 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.

Contacts for KP Kids Program or NBCH Award Interviews:

To interview physicians, representatives, or patients from Kaiser Permanente, please contact Marie Y. Lemelle, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Media Representative at 626-405-5384.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 26, 2008
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