2008 News Archive

September 2008—CalHEP Presents at NASTAD Meeting
CalHEP staff members Martha Saly and Moriya Wheeler attended the National Viral Hepatitis Technical Assistance Conference, hosted by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) on September 29 – October 1 in Washington, DC. Saly participated in a panel discussion about how state health departments and community organizations work on advocacy, giving a presentation on CalHEP’s history and priorities, including our work with the State Department of Public Health on the California Strategic Plan. Also presenting on this panel were CalHEP members Joan Block, of the Hepatitis B Foundation, and Ryan Clary, of Project Inform. Attended by more than 175 people, representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the meeting brought together Perinatal/HBV coordinators and adult viral hepatitis prevention coordinators; health department HIV, STD, and immunization program staff; and others interested in addressing chronic HBV and HCV in the United States. This first-of-its-kind meeting gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about both HBV and HCV and to forge relationships with peers from around the nation. Meeting presentations are available in the Resource Materials section of the NASTAD website.
June 2008—In Memoriam: Hepatitis Advocate Sherri Ziegler
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.
May 2008—Advocacy Teams Take Action for Awareness Day
Through a grant with The California Endowment, CalHEP supports advocacy teams around the state. The teams are based in Los Angeles, the Central Coast, the Bay Area, Sacramento, and the Rural North. The teams, CalHEP members, and local partners have been busy planning events to coincide with World Hepatitis Awareness Day—May 19. For details, see the CalHEP Newsletter, May 12, 2008.
May 2008—Governor Signs Hepatitis Awareness Day Proclamation
Congratulations to the California Hepatitis C Task Force for approaching the governor’s office about the world event. Bill Remak’s hard work resulted in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signing a proclamation in honor of Hepatitis Awareness Day in California!
April 2008—CDPH Hires Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator
Rachel McLean joined the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) as the new Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator in March. McLean’s job duties include:
  • Assessing the scope of viral hepatitis prevention interventions at priority venues serving adults at risk for viral hepatitis in California.
  • Development of a five-year California Adult Viral Hepatitis Strategic Plan in collaboration with other health department representatives, experts in the field, and community groups.
  • Training and technical assistance for health providers to integrate hepatitis prevention messages, counseling, testing, and vaccination into their services.
Previously, Mclean was a policy analyst for two years with the Council of State Governments Justice Center on issues affecting people released from prisons and jails. She has a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University.
February  2008—CalHEP Names Christopher Kennedy Lawford Honorary Chair
Christopher Kennedy Lawford has agreed to serve as CalHEP’s honorary chair and to assist us in bringing greater awareness to viral hepatitis in California. He will be the keynote speaker at CalHEP’s membership meeting in Sacramento on March 12, 2008. The firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy – and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – Christopher Lawford is an accomplished author and actor. His film credits include “Thirteen Days” and “The World’s Fastest Indian,” and he can currently be seen in the movie “Slipstream” opposite Anthony Hopkins. Diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2001, Lawford wrote about his personal experiences in a memoir Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, following his successful hepatitis C treatment. The book was published in 2005 and became a New York Times bestseller. He has dedicated much of his time to speaking about his experience to help increase diagnosis and treatment of liver disease. Read more about Christopher Kennedy Lawford.