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Utah Kidney Foundation honoring BlueCross chief

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The National Kidney Foundation of Utah will honor Jed H. Pitcher, chairman of the board of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, with its 2002 Gift of Life Award Friday at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. The award will be presented by former Sen. Jake Garn, chancellor of the national foundation and chairman of the Utah foundation board.

The award is given each year to individuals or organizations in Utah who exemplify the foundation's mission of "making lives better." Pitcher and Regence BlueCross BlueShield are being honored for their commitment to improving the quality of life and well-being for Utah kidney patients through innovative health-care programs and humanitarian services.

Funds raised at the event will establish the Jed H. Pitcher National Kidney Foundation Patient Services Fund to support patient financial emergency needs.

More than 20 million Americans suffer some form of kidney or urologic disease and millions more are at risk.

For more information, call the foundation at 1-800-869-5277.