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Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson Receives National Award From the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange

Recognized for Leadership Vision and Achievements in Advancing Health Care Quality

OAKLAND, Calif., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange is honoring Kaiser Permanente Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, George Halvorson, with the 2009 Louis Sullivan Award. WEDI's award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through their leadership vision and achievements in advancing the overall quality and efficiency of health care. The winner is selected through a vote by the WEDI board of directors.

The award is named for its first recipient, former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., who was instrumental in creating WEDI in 1991. As the 2009 award recipient, Halvorson joins the ranks of previous winners, including John Halamka, M.D., M.S., chief information officer and dean for technology at Harvard Medical School and chair of the U.S. Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel; Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation; and Michael Leavitt and Tommy Thompson, both former secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Halvorson is widely credited with leading the successful rollout of Kaiser Permanente's multi-billion-dollar information technology initiative, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect(TM), the world's largest civilian electronic health record. Earlier this month, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society awarded 12 Kaiser Permanente hospitals the first-ever Stage 7 Awards, the highest level of recognition for hospital-based EHR implementation. More recently, Halvorson was a leading presenter and speaker at the sixth annual World Health Care Congress held last week in Washington, D.C., delivering a keynote address on the infrastructure of health care in the United States.

With more than 30 years of health care management experience, Halvorson was named chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente in March 2002. He was formerly president and CEO of HealthPartners, headquartered in Minneapolis. He is the author of comprehensive books on the U.S. health care system including Health Care Reform Now! He also wrote Health Care Co-ops in Uganda, Strong Medicine, and Epidemic of Care. His latest book, Health Care Will Not Reform Itself, is scheduled for release in June. Halvorson has served as an advisor to the governments of Uganda, Great Britain, Jamaica and Russia on issues of health policy and financing.

Halvorson has won numerous awards for his commitment to health technology, including the Modern Healthcare CEO IT Achievement Award. He has written numerous articles on subjects ranging from health information technology to the changing marketplace in respected publications, including Health Affairs.

About WEDI

WEDI, a broad-based health care industry coalition, brings together a consortium of leaders within the health care industry to identify practical strategies for reducing administrative costs in health care through the implementation of electronic data interchange. WEDI's mission is to provide leadership and guidance to the health care industry on how to use and leverage the industry's collective knowledge, expertise and information resources to improve the quality, affordability and availability of health care. On the Net:

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is shaping the future of health care. We are America's leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. 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

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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