It Takes a Coalition to Fight Hepatitis B
Hep B United, a national coalition established by the Hepatitis B Foundation and AAPCHO in 2012, hosted its 4th annual Hep B United National Summit in Washington, D.C., from July 27-29. This annual summit is the largest assembly of HBV leaders that gathers to discuss community-based screening, prevention and linkage to care strategies with the goal of eliminating hepatitis B. Key topics this year included building capacity and sustaining local hepatitis B coalitions, helping patients navigate complex insurance and health care systems, and launching the new Know Hepatitis B campaign materials developed by CDC and co-branded with Hep B United.
To commemorate World Hepatitis Day on July 28, the HBF and AACPHO organized Hill Visits during the summit with more than 50 advocates visiting 25 Congressional offices to share their stories and concerns about the need for increased federal attention and funding to address the silent epidemic of hepatitis B (read more below about the HBF Advocacy Agenda).
A highlight of the annual summit is the presentation of Hep B Champion Awards by HBF, AAPCHO and the CDC to recognize community leaders who successfully collaborate to address hepatitis B in their communities.
This year’s honorees included: Alex Shirreffs, MPH, Philadelphia Dept. of Health’s Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator; Mohammed Abdul-Kadir, MPH, MSIS, Coordinator of the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington; Nadine Shiroma, a civil rights advocate from Seattle who has worked with HBF to eliminate HBV related discrimination in the U.S., and; Moon Chen, PhD, Director of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART) in Sacramento, CA.
Hep B United now has more than 30 community coalition members across the country located in 26 cities, 15 states including Washington, DC, and a collective reach to almost 5 million high-risk individuals.
The Hepatitis B Foundation is proud of the growth and expansion of this national coalition to help increase awareness about the urgency of making hepatitis B a national priority