Hepatitis B Foundation Board of Directors selects Dr. Chari Cohen to succeed Dr. Timothy Block as president <<click here>>

Hepatitis B Foundation Members Selected to Participate as Consumer Reviewers in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program for the U.S. Department of Defense

Aug. 12, 2021 – The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s (CDMRP), Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) for the U.S. Department of Defense has selected consumer advocates nominated by the Hepatitis B Foundation. Joan Block, RN, the Foundation’s co-founder and senior advisor, and Maureen Kamischke, the Foundation’s patient engagement and consult specialist, recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the PRMRP.

As consumer reviewers, Block and Kamischke were full voting members, along with prominent scientists, in a meeting held remotely, due to COVID-19, to help determine how the $370 million appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 2021 will be spent on Peer Reviewed Medical research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients by preparing comments on the impact of research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment and quality of life. When commenting on serving as a consumer reviewers, Block and Kamischke both remarked that representing the hepatitis B community was a privilege and they are pleased that hepatitis B is included on the list of diseases considered by the CDMRP for research funding.

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the merit of research applications since fiscal year 1999. Col. Sarah B. Goldman, director of the CDMRP, expressed her appreciation of the consumer advocates’ hard work.

“Integrating consumer perspectives into our decision-making process bring energy and focus to our research programs,” said Col. Goldman. “Patients, caregivers, family members and advocates help us keep our efforts centered around what is truly important to those impacted and help ensure that CDMRP’s work remains critical and relevant.”

Researchers applying to the PRMRP propose to improve the health care and well-being of all military service members, veterans and beneficiaries. The PRMRP fills important gaps by supporting groundbreaking research while encouraging innovate thinking.

More information about the CDMRP’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program is available here.

About Hepatitis B

The number of adults living in the U.S. who have chronic hepatitis B infection may be as high as 2.4 million, which is nearly three times greater than the federal government’s official estimate, according to a new report by a team of public health experts, scientists and physicians. The authors include Dr. Cohen, Hepatitis B Foundation President Timothy M. Block, PhD, and Foundation Medical Director Robert G. Gish, MD.

Worldwide, an estimated two billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (one out of three people) and 1.5 million people become newly infected each year. Almost 300 million people are chronically infected, less than 10% of infected individuals are diagnosed and an estimated 820,000 people die each year from hepatitis B and related complications such as liver cancer.

The Hepatitis B Foundation first called for universal hepatitis B screening in the U.S. in 2018, as the only screening strategy that will help us make progress towards the 2030 goal of eliminating hepatitis B in this country.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: We are the nation’s leading nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. Founded in 1991, the Hepatitis B Foundation is based in Doylestown, Pa., with an office in Washington, D.C. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org and www.hepb30years.org, read our blog at hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@hepbfoundation) or call us at 215-489-4900. To donate, contact Jean Holmes at 215-489-4900 or jean.holmes@hepb.org.