Last week, the Hepatitis B Foundation, Hep B United, and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) hosted over 100 hepatitis B experts, advocates, and public health professionals in Washington D.C. to collaborate and share best practices on how to advance the elimination of hepatitis B. This year’s theme was Eliminating Hepatitis B: Local Change, Global Impact. The 7th annual Summit began with a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill, where attendees met with their states’ congressional members to make a case for legislative prioritization of the epidemic and increased funding for hepatitis B and liver cancer research. Following Advocacy Day were two days of educational sessions, networking, and coalition building activities that aimed to strengthen and expand our ability to address hepatitis B on a national level.
The Summit was live-streamed on Hep B United’s Facebook; all of the sessions can be viewed here! Below are a few highlights of the Summit. Be sure to look out for the annual Summit Report in the upcoming weeks for a more comprehensive overview of the events!
We spoke to nearly 60 congressional offices. Some of our advocates got to personally speak with Representative Grace Meng, Representative Judy Chu, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Representative Ilhan Omar!
Dr. Tim Block, co-founder, and President of the Hepatitis B Foundation, provided an update on the path to a hepatitis B cure and the stages of therapeutic drug development research.
Right before the Summit, it was announced that 6 of our partners received grants from the HHS Office of Minority Health to conduct hepatitis B screening, education, linkage to care!
Representatives Judy Chu and Grace Meng stopped by our Congressional Reception to share some inspiring words!
The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, Dr. Caroyln Wester, MD, MPH, stopped by to share current hepatitis B strategies at the CDC, and to emphasize the importance of funding.
Five of our #justB storytellers shared their diverse personal stories about their hepatitis B journeys. Each story will be featured in the upcoming months, so be sure to stay tuned!
The New York City Health Department shared their research and work on the “Hep B Moms Project”, which provides in-language services to hepatitis B positive mothers and helps link them to care.
We displayed 14 hepatitis B-related research posters from partners across the nation!
Our partners helped us to create an interactive World Hepatitis Day exhibit that was displayed on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 26th! The exhibit featured a map of all of the places where Hep B United’s partners work endlessly to eliminate hepatitis, and pledges from our partners & passersby to help #FindTheMissingMillions!
Check out some more photos on Facebook!
The Summit was a success, with partners feeling inspired and invigorated to continue the fight against hepatitis B. In addition to partnership building and creating political awareness, the annual gathering is a reminder of the power of collaboration, dedication, and persistence.