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News coverage of our programs

Should More People Be Treated for Hepatitis B? Feb. 27, 2024

In a recent commentary in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, (Dr. Su) Wang, Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, and colleagues made the case that people living with hepatitis B should have a voice in creating new treatment guidelines. “Guidelines for treating and managing hepatitis B need to be written with a sensitivity to the practical issues and social-emotional considerations faced by people living with hepatitis B,” Cohen said in a news release. “Additionally, the new guidelines need to be relevant to the real-life conditions that exist in a range of countries around the world, especially those where hepatitis B is most prevalent, such as Africa and Asia.”

Unveiling the Shadows: The Emotional and Social Tolls of Chronic Hepatitis B Feb. 26, 2024

In the quiet corners of everyday life, where personal struggles often remain hidden, a recent study sheds light on the profound emotional and social challenges faced by individuals living with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB). Conducted across five countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Italy, and Japan, this research unveils the often silent battle against stigma, isolation, and the quest for normalcy amidst the complexities of a chronic illness.

Fred B Beans donates $500K to local organizations through EITC Program

Doylestown Patch Jan. 24, 2024

At the end of 2023, the company selected 12 recipients to each receive $25,000 and four recipients to each receive $50,000. The Hepatitis B Foundation is one of the $50,000 donation recipients. Dr. Chari Cohen, foundation president, said the EITC funding from Fred Beans provides two special learning opportunities for high school students: a countywide summer program at the Blumberg Institute research labs and an AP chemistry class and lab work on campus.

Newtown resident Chari Cohen wants to help eliminate hepatitis B
Jewish Exponent Jan. 16, 2024
The Newtown resident does not have a specific connection to the disease. Her commitment to fighting it does not come from some family or personal story. She just got an internship there while working toward her master’s in public health at Temple University. And she found it to be a worthwhile cause. “The cofounders of the organization (Joan and Tim Block) led the organization with 100% commitment,” Cohen said. “Their goal is to cure Hepatitis B and help 300 million people live better lives. They instilled that in me and everyone else who works there.”

Hepatitis B Foundation names recipients of Community Leadership Award
Bucks County Herald Dec. 21, 2023
The Hepatitis B Foundation announced that Catharine and Rob Williams, who reside in Strafford, Pa., have been chosen to receive the Foundation’s Community Leadership Award for 2024. They will be honored on April 5 at the organization’s Annual Gala.  Hepatitis B Foundation President Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH, said: “Catharine and Rob truly embody this award. They have opened their hearts and their home to the Hepatitis B Foundation..."

Lawsuit alleges hundreds of patients at Massachusetts hospital exposed to HIV, hepatitis
USA Today Nov. 20, 2023
Hepatitis B, according to the CDC, can become a long-term, chronic infection. It's transmitted when bodily fluid from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person and can lead to life-threatening illness including liver cancer and cirrhosis, a permanent scarring of the liver that makes it difficult for the organ to function. There is no cure, but according to the Hepatitis B Foundation − a national nonprofit organization working to find a cure for the virus − vaccines can prevent the disease.

Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH: Advances in Hepatitis B Management
HCPLive Nov. 18, 2023
Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, sat down with HCPLive to discuss emerging treatment opportunities for hepatitis B, barriers and disparities in access to adequate care, and her hopes for the future of hepatitis B management. Cohen was a speaker during multiple sessions at The Liver Meeting 2023 from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), including “White House Hepatitis C Elimination Plan: What it means for you and your community” and “New directions for WHO Hepatitis B Global Guidelines on Diagnosis, Treatment and Service Delivery.”

Hepatitis B drug developers chart slow progress forward, just like hep C
FIERCE Biotech Nov. 14, 2023
According to a database maintained by the Hepatitis B Foundation, the number of hepatitis B treatments in the clinic has risen from 26 in October 2016 to 40 in October 2023. But the number of preclinical candidates has fallen from 10 to nine, indicating few next-generation options behind the current crop of options. The overall landscape is disheartening to Chari Cohen, executive director of the foundation, who said that ultimately, pipeline prioritizations are economic decisions. “I do think it's economic, I think it's marketplace-driven, I think it's investor-driven,” said Cohen...

Viral Hepatitis: Deaconess Oborevwori Rallies Stakeholders for Improved Healthcare in Delta
Asaba Metro Nov. 2, 2023
Wife of Delta Governor and founder, You Matter Charity Foundation, Deaconess Tobore Oborevwori has called on stakeholders in the health sector to support the MORE Agenda of Governor Oborevwori led-administration in providing quality healthcare for Deltans. She further commended the Hepatitis B Foundation and other institutions for research in the development of preventive vaccines against viral hepatitis. A highlight of the visit was the presentation of souvenirs to Deaconess Tobore Oborevwori by the state Ministry of Health and Dr. Catherine Freeland, Associate Director of Public Health Research at Hepatitis B Foundation, United States.

Hepatitis B Treatment Eligibility Is Complicated. Time To Simplify It, Says Expert
Managed Healthcare Executive Oct. 13, 2023
Speaking at the IDWeek meeting in Boston, Su Wang, M.D., M.P.H., said expanding treatment is justified partly by evidence that hepatitis B infections are associated with more than just liver disease and a greater risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. Wang is medical director of the viral hepatitis programs and Center for Asian Health at the Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey; past-president of the World Hepatitis Alliance, and a senior advisor to the Hepatitis B Foundation.

Hepatitis B vaccine target market changed due to new evidence, not profit
USA Today
Aug. 21, 2023
Dr. Chari A. Cohen, president of the foundation, told USA TODAY that acute hepatitis B infections declined by 82% in the U.S. between 1991, when the vaccine was first recommended for infants, and 2009. "This is evidence that vaccinating babies prevents hepatitis B infection and is necessary if we are to eliminate a disease that causes 820,000 deaths each year worldwide," Cohen said in an email.

‘300 million people with chronic hepatitis B are waiting to re-start their lives. This is my story of hope.’
GSK July 28, 2023
This story tells about the experience of longtime, highly regarded Hepatitis B Foundation staffer Maureen Kamischke and her daughter Maren. It was produced by GSK with Maureen’s assistance and guidance.

Hep B United commemorates World Hepatitis Day
Bucks County Herald July 28, 2023
Hep B United, a national coalition established by the Doylestown-based Hepatitis B Foundation and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to address the epidemic of hepatitis B, hosted its 11th annual summit in Washington July 24 and 25. The summit brought together nearly 100 community leaders, advocates, clinicians, federal partners and people living with hepatitis B to discuss strategies and challenges toward eliminating hepatitis B in the U.S.

Hep B United Commemorates World Hepatitis Day
Doylestown Patch July 28, 2023
Hep B United, a national coalition established by the Bucks County-based Hepatitis B Foundation and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to address the epidemic of hepatitis B, hosted its 11th annual summit in Washington, D.C., July 24-25. The summit brought together nearly 100 community leaders, advocates, clinicians, federal partners and people living with hepatitis B to discuss strategies and challenges towards eliminating hepatitis B in the U.S., according to a press release.

Philadelphia Department of Health July 28, 2023
The Viral Hepatitis Program works with many organizations that represent and support the diverse immigrant populations throughout the city, including the African Family Health Organization, the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, and the African Cultural Alliance of North America. Alongside the Health Department’s Immunization Program and the Hepatitis B Foundation, the Viral Hepatitis Program provides hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations at events and health fairs hosted by these organizations.

USA Today July 6, 2023
Only people who have had hepatitis B may contract the hepatitis D virus (HDV). For this reason, it’s known as a “satellite virus” according to the CDC. It also has symptoms similar to HBV. “This is a rapidly progressive disease,” explained Hepatitis B Foundation medical director Dr. Robert Gish, in a Liver Foundation webinar. He advised that this is why all patients with HBV should also be tested for HDV.

New CDC Universal Screening recommendations will save lives, Hepatitis B Foundation president says
Bucks County Herald March 9, 2023
New guidance released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that recommend testing of all adults ages 18 and older will save lives, ultimately, said Chari A. Cohen, president of the Doylestown-based Hepatitis B Foundation. The CDC will publish its Universal Adult Hepatitis B Screening Recommendations in the March 10 edition of its influential “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” (MMWR). A preview was posted today (March 9) on the CDC website.

The most obscure and bizzare local mascots: From a dancing liver to a walking cheesesteak, get to know our lesser-known mascots.
Philadelphia Inquirer Feb. 22, 2023
O’Liver B. Hepatitis, a 6-foot-5 human liver with arms, legs, and a toothy grin, may be the mascot of Hannibal Lecter’s dreams, but he works for the Hepatitis B Foundation of Doylestown, raising awareness of the vaccine-preventable virus that causes liver cancer. Born in Philly, O’Liver spent his early years noshing on cheesesteaks and hanging with his other mascot homies before attending mascot school, where he earned the nickname “Big Filter.”

Hepatitis B Foundation president responds to Janssen decision on company’s hepatitis B drug development program
Bucks County Herald Feb. 16, 2023
Hepatitis B Foundation President Chari A. Cohen expressed frustration that Janssen has decided to shut down its program to develop a drug to treat hepatitis B, which is incurable and infects millions in the U.S. and globally. Industry publications have reported that J&J plans to walk away from its hepatitis B and D portfolio and pull out of the hepatitis B space, according to a news release posted on the foundation’s website.

Barnabas MD chosen for Hepatitis B Foundation’s 2023 Community Commitment Award
ROI-NJ Jan. 19, 2023
The Hepatitis B Foundation, a global nonprofit organization based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, said it recently chose Dr. Su Wang, the medical director of Viral Hepatitis Programs and the Center for Asian Health at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, to receive the Foundation’s 2023 Community Commitment Award. Wang is a practicing internist who also lives with hepatitis B. She was diagnosed when she donated blood in college.

Hepatitis B Foundation’s Dr. Yasmin Ibrahim appointed to national Patient Engagement Collaborative
U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
Jan. 13, 2023
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative have announced eight newly selected representatives for the Patient Engagement Collaborative, including Yasmin Ibrahim, MD, PhD, MBA, of the Hepatitis B Foundation. According to the CTTI, “The group of 16 patients, caregivers, and patient group representatives will meet with the FDA several times a year to discuss topics such as communication, transparency, and the best ways for patients to engage the FDA about medical product regulation.”

Hepatitis B Foundation names Baruch S. Blumberg Prize winner - - Nov. 19, 2022 The Hepatitis B Foundation has awarded Stephen Urban, PhD, the 2023 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for his development of bulevirtide, the first drug approved for the treatment of hepatitis D. “The entire hepatitis B/D community owes a tremendous debt to Dr. Urban for his conception, design and creation of new therapeutics for hepatitis B and D, as well as for his pioneering work on basic science advances toward understanding HBV and HDV virology,” Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, said.

Hepatitis B Foundation Awarded Community Project Funding Grant - Doylestown Patch - Oct. 22, 2022 Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) presented the Hepatitis B Foundation with a $475,000 Community Project Funding grant for its Center of Public Health Excellence. The funding will allow the Foundation to provide expert resources, training, and technical assistance on how to prevent, treat, and control Hepatitis B to state and local health departments, social service organizations, and community health providers.

Philadelphia joins fight against hepatitis - - Sept. 26, 2022 Catherine Freeland, associate director of public health research at the Pennsylvania-based Hepatitis B Foundation, thinks universal testing for hepatitis would be a “huge win” in the fight against hepatitis but admits that it’s unclear how such a policy might be implemented. The city of Philadelphia, meanwhile, is hoping for more funding to help it do its part in eliminating viral hepatitis.

In Philly’s push to eliminate hepatitis, a ‘silent infection,’ how many have it remains a big unknown - Philadelphia Inquirer - Sept. 25, 2022 A national push to eliminate two types of hepatitis is hindered by too little information about who's infected. Universal testing would avoid the complications of both obstacles and would be “a huge win,” said Catherine Freeland, associate director of public health research at the Hepatitis B Foundation, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit promoting testing and treatment of the virus. Still, she said, it’s unclear how soon the recommendation could take effect. 

Language barriers, bias, and cultural differences hinder access to health care for Asian PhiladelphiansPhiladelphia Inquirer - Sept. 21, 2022 A lack of health care services for Asian Americans in Philadelphia contributes to poor screening for serious illnesses like Hepatitis B. The virus is not well-known to most primary care physicians, said Catherine Freeland, associate director of public health research at the Hepatitis B Foundation. “Providers frequently misinterpret test results,” she said. “If you talk to someone in medical school, they don’t spend a lot of time on hep B.”

The "love story" behind a local institution (p.35) - Central Bucks Business & Arts Journal - Spring 2021 During the late Eighties, Joan was a nurse at a Philadelphia hospital and Tim was a professor at Jefferson University, researching the herpes simplex virus. Then, unexpectedly, a routine health exam determined that Joan was positive for hepatitis B. “When I was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, instead of panicking, he changed his whole focus of research to search for a cure for hepatitis B,” Joan recalls.

Allow People With HIV and Hepatitis B to Enlist in the Military, Urge Lawmakers - - Sept. 12, 2022
Congress members write to Biden, pushing for the Department of Defense to allow people with HIV and hepatitis B to enlist in the military. 

Buckingham man's liver cancer inspires new research lab - Bucks County Courier Times - Aug. 21, 2022
On Aug. 8, 2022, the Steven W. Miller Laboratory dedication ceremony was held at the institute at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Buckingham. Friends, colleagues and family came to see the unveiling of the plaque outside of the lab to honor Steve. 

Generic subscription services like Mark Cuban’s promise cheaper drugs — but will it work? - PharmaVoice - Aug. 4, 2022
The rising price of drugs and the complexity of the healthcare system have brought about the advent of online subscription generic drug services offering to cut out the middlemen. Now it’s time to see whether that’s economically viable.

World Hepatitis Day 2022 - CDC Global Immunization - July 27, 2022
CDC, in collaboration with the Nigerian Primary Health Care Development Agency, the African Field Epidemiology Network, and the Hepatitis B Foundation, is working with 40 healthcare facilities in Nigeria to train healthcare workers and community volunteers, with the goal of improving coverage of the hepatitis B birth dose (HepB-BD) and the additional 3-dose series (HepB3).

Destigmatizing hepatitis B - Nature - April 1, 2022
"...people with hepatitis B are barred from deployment in the US military. This puts their careers at risk, says Catherine Freeland, director of the public-health programme at the Hepatitis B Foundation, a patient-advocacy charity based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. “That’s a significant consequence that’s unnecessary, and it’s not based on current updated medical guidelines,” Freeland adds.

Some $6.6M is coming to Bucks from Washington. Bucks County Courier Times - March 21, 2022
Hepatitis B Foundation’s Center of Public Health Excellence... will allow the Hepatitis B Foundation to provide expert resources, training, and technical assistance on how to prevent, treat, and control hepatitis B to state and local health departments, social service organizations, and community health providers, according to Fitzpatrick's office.

Fred Beans awards $250K in EITC funds to orgs in Bucks Co. and beyondThe Reporter - March 2, 2022
A repeat beneficiary, the Hepatitis B Foundation, directs the funding from Beans to its High School Science Enrichment Program, which provides unique hands-on learning opportunities for Bucks County high school students in the Foundation’s labs at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center.

And Then There Were 4: VBI Scores FDA Approval with Hepatitis B Vaccine – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - Dec. 6, 2021
Approval of PreHevbrio came nearly a month after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously recommended universal HBV vaccination for all U.S. adults aged 18-59 and for adults age 60+ with risk factors for infection. “As we work to implement the ACIP’s new universal hepatitis B vaccine recommendation for all adults ages 19 to 59, as voted on in November, we benefit from having more tools, including this newly approved three-antigen hepatitis B vaccine,” said Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, the senior vice president of the Hepatitis B Foundation.