Last week, the Hepatitis B Foundation, Hep B United, and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) hosted over 100 hepatitis B experts, advocates, and public health professionals in Washington D.C. to collaborate and share best practices on how to advance the elimination of hepatitis B. This year’s theme was Eliminating Hepatitis B: Local Change, Global Impact. The 7th annual Summit began with a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill, where attendees met with their states’ congressional members to make a case for legislative prioritization of the epidemic and increased funding for hepatitis B and liver cancer research. Following Advocacy Day were two days of educational sessions, networking, and coalition building activities that aimed to strengthen and expand our ability to address hepatitis B on a national level.
The Summit was live-streamed on Hep B United’s Facebook; all of the sessions can be viewed here! Below are a few highlights of the Summit. Be sure to look out for the annual Summit Report in the upcoming weeks for a more comprehensive overview of the events!
- We spoke to nearly 60 congressional offices. Some of our advocates got to personally speak with Representative Grace Meng, Representative Judy Chu, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Representative Ilhan Omar!
- Dr. Tim Block, co-founder, and President of the Hepatitis B Foundation, provided an update on the path to a hepatitis B cure and the stages of therapeutic drug development research.
- Right before the Summit, it was announced that 6 of our partners received grants from the HHS Office of Minority Health to conduct hepatitis B screening, education, linkage to care!
- Representatives Judy Chu and Grace Meng stopped by our Congressional Reception to share some inspiring words!
- The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, Dr. Caroyln Wester, MD, MPH, stopped by to share current hepatitis B strategies at the CDC, and to emphasize the importance of funding.
- Five of our #justB storytellers shared their diverse personal stories about their hepatitis B journeys. Each story will be featured in the upcoming months, so be sure to stay tuned!
- The New York City Health Department shared their research and work on the “Hep B Moms Project”, which provides in-language services to hepatitis B positive mothers and helps link them to care.
- We displayed 14 hepatitis B-related research posters from partners across the nation!
- Our partners helped us to create an interactive World Hepatitis Day exhibit that was displayed on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 26th! The exhibit featured a map of all of the places where Hep B United’s partners work endlessly to eliminate hepatitis, and pledges from our partners & passersby to help #FindTheMissingMillions!
Check out some more photos on Facebook!
The Summit was a success, with partners feeling inspired and invigorated to continue the fight against hepatitis B. In addition to partnership building and creating political awareness, the annual gathering is a reminder of the power of collaboration, dedication, and persistence.