Press Releases: Southern California
April 24, 2010
Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Joel Handler Wins National Award for Excellence in Treating High Blood Pressure Patients
PASADENA, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente physician Joel Handler, MD, has been selected to receive a national award from the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) for his “outstanding dedication to the treatment and care of hypertensive patients.” The City of Orange resident is a critical care specialist at Kaiser Permanente’s Anaheim Medical Center and has served area residents for over 30 years. Dr. Handler is scheduled to receive the ASH Marvin Moser Clinical Hypertension Award in New York on May 3rd, which coincides with National High Blood Pressure Education Month.
Dr. Handler is Kaiser Permanente’s lead hypertension physician in Southern California and is also one of its national hypertension clinical leaders. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, an official journal of ASH, and regularly publishes articles on difficult to control high blood pressure patient cases. Dr. Handler is also currently an expert panel member of the 8th Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (referred to as JNC8), which is developing updated national hypertension treatment guidelines scheduled for release in the spring of 2011. The 15 panel members of the JNC8 were selected by the National Institutes of Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and Dr. Handler is the only member from the West Coast.
“This award is a national acknowledgement for Kaiser Permanente’s leadership role in the world of hypertension,” said Dr. Handler. “I am truly honored and appreciative. I would like to thank the entire Kaiser Permanente multidisciplinary team for its many years of collective effort to optimize preventive care for our patients. I am but one member of a large integrated health care organization that is helping to lead the way in improving health care in America.”
Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health care model has many innovative elements, including the industry leading electronic health records (EHR) system called Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, which eliminates the need for hard copy patient charts and film and is the largest privately held EHR system in the nation. The connectivity is used in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente’s Proactive Office Encounter (POE) program, where staff at every point in the care delivery process can identify scheduled screenings and lab tests, collect vital signs, and provide follow up contact and care. KP HealthConnect and the POE together help Dr. Handler and his colleagues in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group track patients’ high blood pressure readings and treatments and also send messages to other MDs. Also, patients, from the convenience of their home computers, can regularly send health questions via e-mails to their doctors through KP HealthConnect.
Last year, about 80 percent of Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s over 600,000 hypertension patients had their blood pressure under control. In the U.S., high blood pressure affects over 1 in 3 adults — 70 million people. If untreated, it increases their risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.3 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.