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Kaiser Permanente Physician Honored For End-of-Life Care

DENVER, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Daniel Johnson, MD, the national physician lead for palliative care at Kaiser Permanente's Care Management Institute, has been named a recipient of a 2013 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award. The award annually honors leaders who distinguish themselves in caring for patients near the end of life. 

Dr. Johnson, who is also director of palliative care innovations and development for Kaiser Permanente Colorado, received the "mid-career award." There were four other Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon awards: three early-career awards and a senior award. Each recipient has been exemplary in one of four areas: medical practice, teaching, research and community.

"I am so grateful and honored to have received this prestigious award.  I have long admired the important work of the Hastings Center and the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation ― organizations steadfastly dedicated to humanity and compassion in medicine — and I feel humbled to stand among such accomplished colleagues.  While this award serves to recognize my work, it also gives tribute to the passion and dedication of the many individuals with whom I've been fortunate to share this journey."

Dr. Johnson has championed an approach to palliative care that focuses on comprehensive, interdisciplinary team-based support for patients and their loved ones. This team approach, which was evaluated in Kaiser Permanente studies in the hospital, home and outpatient settings, showed improved quality of care for seriously ill patients on measures that included patient satisfaction, communication and reduced hospital admissions. Across Kaiser Permanente's eight regions, Dr. Johnson's leadership has helped to influence universal access to palliative care support in all Kaiser Permanente-affiliated hospitals and rapidly expanded access to palliative support in outpatient settings.

A graduate of the Harvard Program in palliative care education and practice, Dr. Johnson is a practicing physician on the palliative care consult services at Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver and Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Colo. Additionally, Dr. Johnson serves as the director of the Life Quality Institute, an organization that has provided more than 200,000 hours of palliative care education for Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region's health professionals and communities.

The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation's mission is to enrich the doctor-patient relationship near the end of life. The Hastings Center is a bioethics research institute that has done exceptional work on end-of-life decision-making.

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