FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hepatitis B Foundation Hosts National Patient Conference in Philadelphia (Nearly 100 Philadelphia Asians Attended the Event Jointly Sponsored with the Chinese Health Information Center of Thomas Jefferson University)
DOYLESTOWN, PA (July 11, 2007) - The Hepatitis B Foundation hosted the 7th Annual B-Informed Patient Conference, the only national meeting of its kind, in Philadelphia last month. The Foundation partnered with the Chinese Health Information Center of Thomas Jefferson University to reach out specifically to the Asian community which is disproportionately affected by this serious liver disease. More than 200 participants, of which nearly 100 were from the Philadelphia Asian community, attended the two-day conference to learn from leaders in the field about the care and treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
Highlights of this year’s program included formal presentations by clinical and research experts with interactive Q & A sessions. The keynote address regarding advances in hepatitis B management was given by Dr. Hie-Won Hann, professor and director of the Liver Disease Prevention Center of Thomas Jefferson University. A comprehensive overview of the available drug therapies was provided by Dr. Timothy Block, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Maureen Jonas, associate professor of Harvard Medical School and clinical director of Hepatology at Children’s Hospital Boston, spoke about the unique management issues of children living with chronic hepatitis B. A lively expert panel discussion that included Dr. W. Thomas London from Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dr. Kenneth Rothstein from Albert Einstein Medical Center, Dr. Sharat Misra, Dr. Melissa Palmer, and Dr. Hann fielded patient questions for more than an hour.
This year, the Foundation offered an informative half-day session for the Chinese speaking community which was led by Dr. Gang Chen, public health scientist of the Hepatitis B Foundation and research associate of Drexel University School of Public Health. Almost 100 patients and families filled the room to hear Dr. Chen explain what hepatitis B is and why it is so important to prevent and manage this disease. Vouchers for free vaccination and testing at the Chinese Health Information Center were distributed to encourage participants to seek care, and this service will be funded by grant monies from the Hepatitis B Foundation.
Hepatitis B has infected more than two billion people worldwide – that is one out of three people – and kills almost one million people each year. In the United States, one in 20 Americans has been infected with hepatitis B. The danger with chronic hepatitis B infections is that it can lead to fatal cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B causes 80% of the world’s incidence of liver cancer, which is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Despite a safe vaccine and promising treatments, almost 100,000 Americans are newly infected and more than 5,000 will die each year from this liver disease.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. It is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center that it created to accelerate its research progress. For more information, visit www.hepb.org.
Hepatitis B Foundation
3805 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, PA 18902
Tele (215) 489-4900 / Fax (215) 489-4920
About the Chinese Health Information Center
The Chinese Health Information Center (CHIC) of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital opened its doors to the public in 1998 with a mission to improve health care access and services located in Philadelphia's Chinatown offering a variety of services to the Chinese community to overcome language, cultural and economic barriers through its team of dedicated bilingual and trilingual staff.
Chinese Health Information Center
111 S. 11th Street, Suite 1990
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Health Line: (215) 955-8282 / Social Service: (215) 955-9419