Joseph D. Young, MD, a primary care doctor at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center, has been named a 2013 “Stroke Hero” by the American Stroke Association. He received the honor for his work in preventing strokes by leading a program of hypertension control across the health care system’s Northern California region.
Dr. Young has been the Hypertension Clinical Leader for Kaiser Permanente Northern California since 2005. Under his direction, the control rate for high blood pressure region-wide nearly doubled from 44% in 2001 to 87% in 2011. During approximately the same time period, the death rate from stroke fell by 42%.
He was nominated by his colleague Dr. Marc Jaffe, clinical leader of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program, who wrote: “Dr. Young has tirelessly led the campaign to control blood pressure with remarkable passion and dedication in treating his own patients and helping over 7,000 physicians treat their patients with high blood pressure. In addition, he is sharing his expertise with the Centers for Disease Control, the American Heart Association, and the American Medical Association. On behalf of the thousands of patients who have brought their blood pressure under control, I thank Dr. Young for all the strokes that people did not have.”
Dr. Young is currently co-investigator on the Kaiser Permanente’s Shake, Rattle and Roll study, which seeks to eliminate the disparity in stroke rates between black and white patients with hypertension (www.bringitdownstudy.org).