Message from Dr. Timothy Block, Hepatitis B Foundation President
April 6, 2020
To the hepatitis B community around the world,
Let me begin by paraphrasing something I heard, which I found inspirational: “Let’s think about a time in the near future when we are past all of this, looking back. How much we will celebrate, and how much we will have learned.”
But that time has not yet come. So, this letter is to let each of you know how the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research arm, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, are meeting our mission right now. And, indeed, we diligently continue to work towards our mission to find a cure and improve the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Certainly, things are not as usual, but our work does continue.
The COVID 19 crisis is understandably the current world priority. But it is still important that, to the extent possible, the momentum we have generated toward hepatitis B patient services and cure research continue. Right now, our strategy focuses on endurance, service and resilience.
The Hepatitis B Foundation team is primarily working from home, though our information and education services continue unchanged, and our Helpline is still running for all those who need it. Our April 24th gala will now be “virtual” with some very creative twists. Our June 9th Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting will become a “virtual” meeting on the same date, and registration will be open to all! We are still updating our website and social media on a daily basis and, just last month, added a Clinical Trial Finder to help people with hepatitis B around the world find clinical trials near you. We also added a new resource section on COVID-19 to share information for people with hepatitis B and liver disease.
The Blumberg scientists continue their research and the labs remain open to carry out our hepatitis B and liver cancer research, with additional safety measures in place and limits on the number of scientists who are in at one time. Our scientists are spending much-needed time researching, writing and attending “virtual” meetings and journal clubs.
The hepatitis B and liver community should know that we have not stopped working for hepatitis B and liver cancer (HCC) patients. At a time when the world, understandably, is distracted with another, very important crisis, the work of the Hepatitis B Foundation and Blumberg is all the more critical. And we will be there.
President and Co-Founder