B Informed Patient Conference
June 8-9, 2007, Philadelphia, PA
"A Gathering of Friends"
Hosted by the Hepatitis B Foundation, Chinese Health & Information Center of Thomas Jefferson University and the Hepatitis B Information and Support Listserv (HB-List).
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 the 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.
For the first time , 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.
After seven years, our national B Informed patient conference continues to be the only one of its kind, giving patients and families the unique opportunity to connect with one another in a supportive environment. For many, this was the only time they had the opportunity to meet others face to face who live with chronic hepatitis B – and this was a powerful experience for us all.
"B Informed 2007" Program
(PDF format, Adobe Acrobat required to view)
A complete review of the conference is available in the fall 2007 issue of our B Informed Newsletter.