Viral Hepatitis Community

May 2011 - Orlando Chavez Receives 2011 Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award

Orlando Chavez receives award
Orlando Chavez (center) receives his award, among CalHEP Steering Committee member
Theresa
Hughes (L) and Chair, Leslie Benson (Photo Credit: Bill Hackwell)

Orlando Chavez is the California Hepatitis Alliance’s 2011 Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award winner for his outstanding leadership and service on behalf of those with, and at risk of, viral hepatitis. Orlando was presented with the award at the May 19th CalHEP & California Health Policy Forum viral hepatitis briefing in Sacramento.

Orlando assisted with the formation of United for Drug Policy Reform (UDPR), a grassroots organization that focuses on drug policy and support services and is currently leading a group of viral hepatitis advocates in a voter registration drive across California.In addition to his work with UDPR, Orlando also serves as the OASIS Noon Hep C Support Group co-chairperson, participates on the OASIS Activism Committee, and was a Hep C 411 Nationwide Anonymous Chat Line educator from 2007 through 2010. Orlando is also involved in a number of projects at the Berkeley Free Clinic, including Berkeley Builds Capacity, Merck Patient Assistance Program, GSK Vaccine Access Program, and the Hepatitis Testing, Education, and Vaccination Section (HepTev).

The Sherri Ziegler award is presented to an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and advocacy in viral hepatitis in California. Established in 2009 in honor of the late Sherri R. Ziegler, a founding member of the CalHEP Steering Committee, the award reflects the dedication to advocacy and support Sherri exhibited for those with hepatitis.  Sheri worked tirelessly to advocate for those in need of support and services, especially in rural northern California. Sherri loved to travel with her message of hope for people who, like her, were affected by hepatitis C. She was a determined advocate in Sacramento and in Washington DC. Sherri also mentored countless advocates all over the rural north.


 April 2011 - Meet a Member - Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center 

To help you learn about another of your fellow CalHEP members, we'd like to introduce you to Carlos Bermudez, Director of Health Education for the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.  We encourage you to read Carlos' story about the organization's success in integrating HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C services.

 


 

 March 2011 - Apply to Become a CalHEP Steering Committee Member

Do you want to help set the direction of CalHEP and help us to achieve our mission? If so, apply to join the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee includes up to 12 representatives of organizations whose work reflects CalHEP’s membership and mission. The primary responsibilities of the Steering Committee members are to:

  • Help set the strategic direction for CalHEP
  • Monitor achievement of goals and objectives
  • Promote CalHEP and make connections with other organizations for collaborative efforts
  • Participate in monthly Steering Committee calls
  • Select the Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award winner

    Individuals interested in applying should submit an application (pdf format or Microsoft Wordby April 15, 2011. If your organization is not already a CalHEP member, please visit complete the free membership application. Steering Committee applications will be reviewed and voted upon by the current Steering Committee members. Applicants will be notified by May 4, 2011.


    March 2011 - Nominate a Worthy Colleague for CalHEP's Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award

    The Sherri Ziegler award is presented to an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and advocacy in viral hepatitis in California. Established in 2009 in honor of the late Sherri R. Ziegler, a founding member of the CalHEP Steering Committee, the award reflects the dedication to advocacy and support Sherri exhibited for those with hepatitis.  Sheri worked tirelessly to advocate for those in need of support and services, especially in rural northern California. Sherri loved to travel with her message of hope for people who, like her, were affected by hepatitis C. She was a determined advocate in Sacramento and in Washington DC. Sherri also mentored countless advocates all over the rural north. She always had a positive attitude even when she faced obstacles that would overwhelm most people. Along with her advocacy efforts, Sherri provided education, support, and other services for people with HCV in her community. She was an invaluable resource to the Peach Tree Clinic, the Sutter, Yuba, and Butte County Health Departments, and advocacy groups in Shasta and Plumas Counties. In addition to helping CalHEP get started, Sherri founded the Nor Cal Hepatitis C Network to help increase hepatitis C awareness and support.

    The Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award will be presented to the individual who best portrays the following characteristics:

    • Involvement in local, state and/or federal hepatitis advocacy.
    • Active pursuit of raising hepatitis awareness and/or providing support for hepatitis prevention, screening and/or treatment within their community or California.
    • Sensitivity to addressing the needs of special populations and reducing disparities in viral hepatitis.

    Submit a nomination (pdf format or Microsoft Wordby April 15, 2011. If your organization is not already a CalHEP member, please visit complete the free membership application. Award nominations will be reviewed and voted upon by the current Steering Committee members. Applicants will be notified by May 4, 2011.


    February 2011 - Meet a Member - Hepatitis C Task Force for LA County

    As we continue to help you learn about fellow CalHEP members, we'd like to introduce you to Danny Jenkins, co-chair of the Hepatitis C Task Force for Los Angeles County.  We encourage you to read Danny's story about what brought him to the field of hepatitis and what keeps him working on this important issue.


    December 2010 - Drug Addicts Unite!

    The East Bay Express featured a story on a group of methadone users from the OASIS Clinic that have formed a political lobbying group to help shape California policy. This is a great example of helping individuals find the power of their voices to make a difference on policy issues.


    December 2010 - Journal of Community Health Article on SF Hep B Free

    San Francisco Hep B Free had an article published online in the Journal of Community Health on their model to eliminate hepatitis B infection by increasing hepatitis B awareness, testing, vaccination, and treatment among Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) by building a broad, community-wide coalition. From 2007 to 2009, 40 educational events reached 1,100 healthcare providers, and 50% of primary care physicians pledged to screen APIs routinely for hepatitis B. Community events and fairs reached over 200,000 members of the general public. Of 3,315 API clients tested at stand-alone screening sites created by the campaign, 6.5% were found to be chronically infected and referred to follow-up care.


    December 2010 - Hear Wings for Life Board Member's Feature on Economics of Hepatitis C

    Theresa Hughes, CalHEP Steering Committee member, made the news in November 2010. Listen to her interview on the economics of Hepatitis C. For more information on Theresa’s work, visit the Wings for Life website.


     November 2010 - Meet A Member - Southeast Asian Assistance Center

    CalHEP is continuing to share interviews with some of our members, to help you learn more about the work of others within the Alliance. Read our interview with Laura Leonelli to learn more about how the Southeast Asian Assistance Center started working on hepatitis issues this year.


    October 2010 - MCAVHN Director Receives Doctorate

     Kudos to Libby Guthrie, executive director of the Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network for recently receiving her Ed.D. in counseling psychology. Read more about Libby's studies and the current struggles in serving the needs of her community.


    September 2010 - New Hepatitis B Education and Screening Program Offered to Subaru Employees

     The Hepatitis B Foundation partnered with AsianWeek Foundation to offer a new hepatitis B education and free testing program to Subaru employees in Cherry Hill, NJ to raise awareness about the silent epidemic of hepatitis B that impacts up to two million Americans. Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the world's leading cause of liver cancer, and in the U.S., liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. Read more about the program.


    September 2010 - Hep B Foundation Helps Launch New National Campaign to Raise Awareness of Hepatitis B, Leading Cause of Liver Cancer

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health, the Hepatitis B Foundation and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the epidemic of chronic hepatitis B among Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Chronic hepatitis B is a life-threatening liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The focus of the campaign is a new television public service announcement (PSA) that encourages Asian Americans to get tested for this preventable and treatable disease. Read the entire news release and view the PSA.


    August 2010 - Meet A Member - Sierra Hope

     CalHEP is featuring interviews with some of our members, to help you learn more about the work of others within the Alliance. Read our first interview with Sami Rhodes to learn more about her work at Sierra Hope.


    July 2010 - Butte County Public Health Department Receives Hepatitis C Grant

    Congratulations to the Butte County Public Health Department, who recently received a $25,000 grant from the Sierra Health Foundation. The goal of the project is to reduce the spread of Hepatitis C by providing targeted education, testing, referral for treatment and support services to high-risk individuals, primarily at drug rehabilitation centers and homeless shelters. They were one of 21 proposals selected from 290 applicants. Congratulations!


    July 2010 - Diana Sylvestre Featured in New York Times Article

    New York Times: Betty Stevenson used heroin for many years and spent seven years in prison for forgery. She finally cleaned up, only to discover that she been infected with hepatitis C from contaminated needles and had serious liver disease. Ms. Stevenson was successfully treated by Dr. Diana Sylvestre, the founder and lone physician at a clinic here set in a former factory near a blighted neighborhood known as Ghost Town. “By the time I got here and to Dr. Sylvestre, I was dead, I had no hope,” said Ms. Stevenson, 68, who is now raising three great-grandsons. “She literally saved my life.” Dr. Sylvestre has earned avid devotion from many of the several hundred addicts and former addicts, ex-convicts, poor and uninsured whom she has treated for hepatitis C. Getting such patients help is a challenge that, if not met, could thwart the success of new hepatitis C drugs aimed at subduing the virus. Read the entire article on CalHEP Steering Committee member, Diana Sylvestre.


    May 2010 - San Mateo Raises Awareness of Hepatitis B

    The City of San Mateo kicked off “Hepatitis B Awareness Week” today with a ribbon tying ceremony in Downtown San Mateo, followed by a proclamation from Mayor John Lee at the City Council meeting. Organized by the Jade Ribbon Youth Council, a group of high school volunteers from San Mateo, the ribbon tying ceremony in Downtown San Mateo will tie green ribbons to raise awareness among the public about the “silent killer” known as Hepatitis B.   San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim was on hand to tie the first ribbon. The Jade Ribbon Youth Council is a project of the Asian Liver Center at Stanford.


    May 2010 - Help & Education for Liver Patients (HELP!) Receives Assembly Certificate of Recognition

    Help & Education for Liver Patients (HELP!) was recognized by Assemblymember Bill Monning for their initiative and leadership in addressing Hepatitis C as a public health threat in their community. The certificate also recognized Hepatitis Awareness Month. Congrats to HELP! on receiving recognition for their great work.


     May 2010 - Hep B SF Campaign Featured in National Media!

    The Hep B SF Campaign has received a great deal of media attention recently related to their new campaign. Here are a few of the stories: New York Times, In Ads, Plea for Asians to Get Tests for Hepatitis CBS News story , PBS News Hour and NPR Morning Edition. Congratulations on the coverage.


     

    Look what Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network is doing. Another CalHEP member, Libby Guthrie, is in the news.

    Click here for details. Read Together We Can!


    CDPH

    March 3, 2010, opportunity becomes available through the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch. Community-based organizations that are registered as providers through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program and/or the Adult Hepatitis Vaccine Project (AHVP) may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $250 for purchase of a refrigerator to increase their vaccine storage capacity. For more information about the Vaccine Storage Capacity Expansion Program, please see the email below.

    If you work with an organization that is a VFC provider or an AHVP site that, with increased vaccine storage capacity, could be more able to deliver free hepatitis A and B vaccines to at-risk adults through the Adult Hepatitis Vaccine Project. Click here for more information about the project or contact Mey Phu at (510) 620-2642.


    "Hep C Task Force Launched"

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's recently established Hepatitis C Task Force will be holding a series of public meetings as it crafts recommendations. Some 12,000 people with hepatitis C virus live in San Francisco, and one HCTF aim is to identify local service providers and resources. Plans for boosting diagnoses and awareness of HCV are also part of its charge.

    "The key is going to be public awareness and educating medical providers to ask questions and get people tested," said task force member Alan Franciscus of the Hepatitis C Support Project....

    The task force will work to devise recommendations for funding and a comprehensive, citywide HCV strategy. Members will assist prevention efforts and awareness campaigns. One of HCTF's first actions was to send letters to California's US Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier urging them to co-sponsor the "Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009."

    "Our ambitious game plan is to have recommendations to the mayor by the end of 2010 and then continue to convene in 2011," Allgaier said. Public meetings are held on the second Monday of the month, with the next one set for Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at 25 Van Ness Ave., third-floor conference room. Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)     (01.21.10):: Liz Highleyman


    Steering Committee Member Alan Franiscus Making the News!

    The Hepatitis C Generation

    Thanks to a disease that lays dormant for up to 30 years, Baby Boomers well past their wild years are starting to suffer the consequences.

    When Alan Franciscus was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1996, his first question was, "Am I going to die?" When his doctor assured him that many treatment options were available, he had a second question: "What is hepatitis C?" Looking back, Franciscus, a 61 year-old San Francisco resident says: "One of the most disturbing things to me was I had never heard of it. I really did not know a thing about it." To read more about this story checkout  the January 11, 2010 edition of Newsweek. To learn more about Alan and his work look to the HCV Advocate.


    CalHEP's Medical Advisor Diana Sylvestre, MD is Making the News!

    Fox News at 5: Rallying for increases in testing and treatment for at-risk people

    Health care workers and patients held a rally outside the Alameda health department. They say hepatitis c causes 10,000 deaths a year. They say the state doesn't allocate any money. Alameda county does not have a systematic testing program. What we would like to do is try to encourage the state to offer testing to at-risk individuals in the state and to get the county hospitals to start treating hepatitis again. It's estimated there are 700,000 people in California. 30,000 of them in Alameda county and that half of them don't know it (KTVU-FOX  SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND-SAN JOSE, CA, reported on November 18 2009).

    Even as awareness of hepatitis C grows, the scant resources devoted to its treatment are being slashed.

    Dr. Diana Sylvestre is not an alarmist. But when it comes to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) — the country's number one blood-borne pathogen — she says we are in the midst of a grave public health crisis with Oakland as an epicenter. And that's inexcusable, she believes, because hepatitis C can be beaten through treatment. Many of the infected experience no symptoms, and those requiring care have a good chance of clearing the virus with medication. But even as awareness of the problem has grown, the already-scant resources devoted to it have been slashed. (The Epicenter of a Public Health Crisis, Eastbayexpress.com, By Julia Landau, November 18,2009)


    Welcome to CalHEP's New Website: Your Connection to the Viral Hepatitis Community

    CalHEP is delighted to introduce you to its new website, designed to foster our ability to serve as the hub of education and advocacy to combat the viral hepatitis epidemic in California. Besides its sharp new look and easier navigation, the site features more ways for members to get involved and interact. Stay informed on policy and research by checking out our “Education Center” and “Policy” sections. Search for members by county, organization name, or type of organization via a database on the “Member Profiles” page. Get to know your CalHEP leadership and staff by checking under the “About Us” section. Send us information on your events, and we’ll post them to the calendar and highlight them in our member news section. Send us your stories, and we’ll write them up for our “Viral Hepatitis Community” page and our monthly newsletter. Please take some time to explore the site, and we’d love to hear your comments.


    Members in the Spotlight

    Santa Cruz AIDS Project

    CalHEP welcomed the Santa Cruz AIDS Project as its newest member in October 2009. SCAP provides comprehensive syringe-exchange and harm-reduction programs in Santa Cruz County. Founded in 1985 to lead a community response to the ever-changing HIV/AIDS pandemic, SCAP is dedicated to reducing the adverse health, social, and economic costs of high-risk behaviors through a wide variety of outreach, education, referrals, and services. Visit SCAP’s website.

    Asian Liver Center

    Stanford University’s Asian Liver Center stepped into the national spotlight at the Washington, DC, conference held in September 2009: “The Dawn of a New Era: Transforming Our Domestic Response to Hepatitis B & C.” The Asian Liver Center’s founder and director, Samuel So, MD, FACS, discussed model programs, such as the Jade Ribbon Campaign, for routinely screening foreign-born Asians and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B infection. Dr. So is the Lui Hac Minh Professor in the School of Medicine and Surgery at Stanford and a former CalHEP board member. Learn more about the Jade Ribbon Campaign. 

    Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

    In August, 2009 CalHEP welcomed the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as a new member. Check the organization's website.  

    In Memoriam

    Sherri Rae Ziegler February 28, 1959 -- June 26, 2008

    Sherri Ziegler, CalHEP founding steering committee member and tireless hepatitis C advocate, died, June 26, 2008, following a short illness. Read the special edition of CalHEP’s newsletter memorializing Sherri’s passing.

    View a slide show of photos of Sherri.

    Read remembrances of Sherri.

     

     

 

Orlando Chavez is the California Hepatitis Alliance’s 2011 Sherri Ziegler Community Service Award winner for his outstanding leadership and service on behalf of those with, and at risk of, viral hepatitis.

Orlando assisted with the formation of United for Drug Policy Reform (UDPR), a grassroots organization that focuses on drug policy and support services and is currently leading a group of viral hepatitis advocates in a voter registration drive across California.

In addition to his work with UDPR, Orlando also serves as the OASIS Noon Hep C Support Group co-chairperson, participates on the OASIS Activism Committee, and was a Hep C 411 Nationwide Anonymous Chat Line educator from 2007 through 2010. Orlando is also involved in a number of projects at the Berkeley Free Clinic, including Berkeley Builds Capacity, Merck Patient Assistance Program, GSK Vaccine Access Program, and the Hepatitis Testing, Education, and Vaccination Section (HepTev).

 

Orlando assisted with the formation of United for Drug Policy Reform (UDPR), a grassroots organization that focuses on drug policy and support services and is currently leading a group of viral hepatitis advocates in a voter registration drive across California.

In addition to his work with UDPR, Orlando also serves as the OASIS Noon Hep C Support Group co-chairperson, participates on the OASIS Activism Committee, and was a Hep C 411 Nationwide Anonymous Chat Line educator from 2007 through 2010. Orlando is also involved in a number of projects at the Berkeley Free Clinic, including Berkeley Builds Capacity, Merck Patient Assistance Program, GSK Vaccine Access Program, and the Hepatitis Testing, Education, and Vaccination Section (HepTev).


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