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AASLD chooses Joan and Tim Block for inaugural Distinguished Advocacy Service Award

We are pleased to announce that Hepatitis B Foundation co-founders Joan Block, RN, and Timothy M. Block, PhD, will be receiving a very significant honor in November during The Liver Meeting, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of LiverDiseases (AASLD).


AASLD recently announced that, during the Nov. 13-16 Liver Meeting Digital Experience, the Blocks will receive the inaugural Distinguished Advocacy Service Award. AASLD is a professional organization of scientists and health care professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. This award “recognizes service provided to the hepatologycommunity over an extended period that raises awareness or garners public and federal legislative support and promotes liver health and quality patient care.”

Joel Rosen, Esq., chairman of the Hepatitis B Foundation’s Board of Directors, said the Blocks certainly are deserving of this honor. “The dedication and leadership in the fight against hepatitis B demonstrated by Joan and Tim for so many years inspires all of us and has set a high bar for everyone associated with the Hepatitis B Foundation,” Rosen said. “Joan and Tim have always combined great intellectual rigor in their research and public health endeavors with heartfelt compassion for people living with hepatitis B.”

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Joan and Tim Block established the HBF in 1991, along with Paul and Janine Witte. Today, it is a trusted global authority and primary portal of information about hepatitis B, with 4 million website visits annually from more than 100 countries. The HBF reaches thousands of people each year through email, social media and community-based screening and linkage to care programs.

The Blocks are receiving this award to recognize their outstanding efforts to raise awareness and prioritization of hepatitis B, and to ensure that the 2 million people living with hepatitis B in the U.S. have unhindered access to screening, appropriate medical care and treatment. Under their leadership, HBF’s long-standing commitment to advocacy has resulted in many groundbreaking successes that have prohibited discrimination, increased focus and dollars for research to find a cure for hepatitis B and better treatment for liver cancer, and improved access to medication across the U.S. 

Tim was a tenured professor at Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University College of Medicine until 2015, when he joined the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, the research arm of the Hepatitis B Foundation, full-time. He has more than 250 scholarly publications and earned more than 20 patents. Tim is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, U.S. National Academy of Inventors.

Joan has served on the WHO Committee for HBV management guidelines, received awards from the White House and CDC for advocacy and has served on the American Liver Foundation national board.