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LEADING TEEN PHYSICIAN SAYS REMOVING BARRIERS IS KEY TO ADOLESCENT HEALTH

 SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Threats to adolescent health are the focus of several articles and editorials in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 "An important aspect of adolescent health is to remove the barriers to getting care," explains Charles Wibbelsman, M.D., chief of the Teen Clinic at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco. "In an HMO setting you can provide prepaid care in a non-threatening way. Young Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members can access the care for a confidential problem such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases without worry of the cost. That removes a major barrier to their care." Kaiser Permanente cares for about one million adolescents in 16 states.
 Wibbelsman, who just returned from the annual meeting of the Society of Adolescent Medicine in Chicago, is co-author of the best-sellers, "Crisis Proof Your Teenager," "The Teenage Body Book" and "Growing and Changing: A Handbook for Pre-Teens."
 Wibbelsman was the "Dear Dr." columnist for Teen Magazine for two years and has appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Today Show," "What's Up, Dr. Ruth" and "Hour Magazine" discussing teenagers and their special problems and needs.
 He currently serves as a member of the Kaiser Permanente Inter- Regional AIDS Task Force and San Francisco Superintendent of Schools' School Health Advisory Board. Wibbelsman is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, University of California, School of Medicine.
 Wibbelsman also is an advisor to Kaiser Permanente's educational theater productions of "Nightmare on Puberty Street" and "Secrets," which focuses on AIDS and other teen and pre-teen health issues.
 Kaiser Permanente is the nation's largest health maintenance organization with 6.6 million members in 16 states.
 -0- 3/25/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: To schedule an interview with Dr. Wibbelsman, contact him directly at 415-202-3445./
 /CONTACT: Dan Danzig, 510-271-5953, or Charles Wibbelsman, 415-202-3445, both of Kaiser Permanente/


CO: Kaiser Permanente Medical Center ST: California IN: HEA SU:

SM -- NYCFNS9 -- 9349 03/25/93 07:09 EST
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Date:Mar 25, 1993
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