The Hepatitis B Foundation and Community Partners ‘Storm’ Philadelphia City Council to Promote National Hepatitis Awareness Month

The Hepatitis B Foundation will visit Philadelphia City Council to ask city leaders to support increased testing for the viral liver diseases hepatitis B and C in Philadelphia’s at-risk populations.

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Philadelphia (PRWEB) May 01, 2014

Date: Thursday, May 8, 2014

Time: 10 a.m.

Location: Philadelphia City Council, 494 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

Details: The Hepatitis B Foundation will visit Philadelphia City Council to ask city leaders to support increased testing for the viral liver diseases hepatitis B and C in Philadelphia’s at-risk populations.

Foundation leaders and the citywide education coalition that they created, Hep B United Philadelphia, will join with the Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia County Medical Society to create a noisy and visual presence at the city council meeting to raise awareness about the urgent problem of viral hepatitis in the city.

Councilman-at-large David Oh will issue a proclamation to demonstrate support for the coalition’s mission to improve screening, vaccination and treatment for hepatitis B and C in the city. About 100 supporters are expected to attend, wearing “don’t let hepatitis sneak up on you” t-shirts to promote their key message – “Get tested for hepatitis. Save lives!” Dr. Walter Tsou, former Philadelphia Health Commissioner and key leader of Hep B United Philadelphia, and Dr. Curtis Miyamoto, Chair of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, are expected to attend.

After the council meeting, the advocates will meet with council members to further review in-depth information about the toll hepatitis B and C is taking on Philadelphia.

These efforts are being coordinated in recognition of May being National Hepatitis Awareness Month, the goal of which is to highlight the silent epidemic of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections. It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans suffer from these serious liver diseases, and most are unaware that they are infected. It is essential to improve screening and testing rates to reduce the burden of illness and death from these diseases.

Hepatitis B is a Philadelphia Story: Dr. Baruch Blumberg, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discovered the hepatitis B virus for which he won the Nobel Prize. He also invented the first hepatitis B vaccine that is now manufactured by two companies, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, both headquartered in the Philadelphia region The Hepatitis B Foundation, which was co-founded by Dr. Blumberg, is the only national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and was established just outside Philadelphia in Bucks County.

About Hep B United Philadelphia: Hep B United Philadelphia seeks to increase the visibility of hepatitis B and liver cancer as an urgent health priority; increase hepatitis B testing and vaccination rates, particularly among at-risk communities; and involve and mobilize stakeholders and policy decision-makers to improve access to care for both the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B and liver cancer. To learn more, go to http://www.hepbunitedphiladelphia.org.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., the Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national 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. To learn more, go to http://www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://wp.hepb.org, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.

Contact: Sarah Larson at sarah(at)furiarubel(dot)com or 215-340-0480

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