Hepatitis B Foundation Sponsors Two-Day Educational Conference for Children and Adults at Risk for Deadly Liver Virus

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Event Marks One-Year Anniversary of Asian Pacific Liver Center at St. Vincent Medical Center.

Liver disease specialists from throughout California will participate in a public health education conference, sponsored by the Hepatitis B Foundation, at St. Vincent Medical Center on June 27 and 28, where they will speak to an estimated 200 people who live and work in the Downtown area.

The conference is designed so that Friday afternoon will be spent focusing on the management of pediatric HBV and Saturday will be spent focusing on the management of adult HBV, particularly in the Asian-American community, which is disproportionately affected by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is a chronic and progressive liver disease that leads to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Phil Rosenthal, M.D., director of Pediatric Hepatology at UCSF Childrens Hospital, will be the featured speaker at the Friday, June 27 session with a presentation about how to treat children with HBV.
California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (12th Dist.) will be special guest speaker at the Saturday, June 28 event, where she will address some of the legislative efforts underway to increase funding for HBV screening, vaccination and treatment.

Tse-Ling Fong, M.D., program director of the Asian Pacific Liver Center (APLC), St. Vincent Medical Center, Ho Bae, M.D., medical director of the APLC, St. Vincent Medical Center, and Robert Gish, M.D., hepatologist at California Pacific Medical Center, will provide expert presentations about state-of-the-art care and treatment for HBV.
Breakout in-language educational sessions will be held for Chinese- and Korean-speaking attendees on Saturday afternoon. Free HBV screenings will be available for all attendees.

Afternoon workshops will focus on the facts about hepatitis B, healthy nutrition, maintaining liver health, and parenting tips.

Facts you should know about hepatitis B

  •     Hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer among Asian Americans.
  •     One in 10 Asian-Americans is infected with hepatitis B, with most infections occurring at birth.
  •     Thousands of people of Asian descent in the greater Los Angeles area have hepatitis B, but most are not aware they are infected.
  •     Despite the availability of the hepatitis B vaccine, vaccination rates are low and hepatitis B remains a global health problem.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation:
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. It is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center that it created to accelerate its research progress. For more information, visit http://www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

About the Asian Pacific Liver Center:
The APLC is a unique comprehensive liver clinic dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of hepatitis, with special emphasis on the high rate of disease in the Asian-American Community. The APLC identifies and cares for patients at high risk for hepatitis by providing culturally sensitive community outreach, screening test results, diagnostic liver imaging, consultation on treatment plans and more. For more information, call (888) 236-2752.

About St. Vincent Medical Center:
Providing compassionate healthcare for those who need hope and healing has been the mission of St. Vincent Medical Center for more than 150 years. Located just west of Downtown, St. Vincent is a world-renowned, 347-bed state-of-the-art facility, offering comprehensive medical services, including multi-organ transplantation, spine surgery, joint replacement, general orthopedics, cancer treatment, cardiovascular services, thoracic surgery, electrophysiology, interventional radiology and the multi-disciplinary therapies available from the House Ear and Neurosurgery Center.

St. Vincent Medical Center's community outreach programs offer health screenings, diabetes education, after-school activities and other services targeting high-risk populations. St. Vincent Medical Center is part of the Daughters of Charity Health System, a nonprofit healthcare system spanning the California coast. We are committed to caring for the whole person - body, mind and spirit.

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Sharon Greengold
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