Hepatitis B Foundation's Joan Block to be Honored by Penn Asian Senior Services

Top Quote Hepatitis B Foundation Executive Director and Co-Founder to Receive PASSi's 2011 Distinguished Health Leader Award in Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Health of Asian-Americans. End Quote
  • Philadelphia, PA-NJ (1888PressRelease) April 13, 2011 - The Hepatitis B Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the global authority dedicated to eliminating hepatitis B worldwide, is pleased to announce that Joan Block, RN, BSN, executive director and co-founder, will be honored with Penn Asian Senior Services' 2011 Distinguished Health Leader Award. Each year, Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi) through its Distinguished Health Leader Award recognizes one individual who has made a significant contribution in the area of health for Asians in the United States. PASSi cited Block's dedication to eliminating hepatitis B and improving the lives of those affected by the disease as positively impacting the lives of many Asian-Americans during the past two decades. Block is scheduled to be honored at PASSi's 5th Annual Gala on May 20, 2011, in Blue Bell, Pa. The event will draw approximately 200 guests, including state and local government officials, area health care and community leaders and individuals dedicated to improving the lives of aging Americans.

    "I am honored to be recognized by Penn Asian Senior Services," said Block. "For the past 20 years, I have been committed to meeting the needs of those living with hepatitis B, and as an Asian American, it is truly gratifying to see the Hepatitis B Foundation making a positive difference in combating a serious liver disease that disproportionately affects individuals of Asian descent both in the U.S. and abroad."

    In addition to the work being done in the U.S., the Hepatitis B Foundation recently launched its Gateway to Care public health campaign in Haimen City, China. Made possible by a $400,000 educational grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Gateway to Care program in China is a multi-year, citywide initiative that will raise public awareness about hepatitis B among its one million residents, educate hundreds of health care providers to improve screening and management of hepatitis B, and provide information and support to those living with this disease.

    Block, who was named a 2010 Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction, co-founded the Hepatitis B Foundation in 1991 with her husband Dr. Timothy Block and another couple, Paul and Janine Witte. They created the Foundation in response to a young family affected by hepatitis B. Their goal was to find a cure and help those affected worldwide. Today, the Foundation has grown from a grassroots effort into a professional organization with a global reach.

    Under Block's leadership, the Foundation created a comprehensive outreach and education program that includes an award-winning website (www.hepb.org); multi-platform, multi-lingual educational materials and newsletters; e-mail/phone helplines; the only national patient conference for hepatitis B; community-based public health campaigns; and advocacy initiatives to make hepatitis B a national priority. The Foundation's research program funds the nation's largest concentration of scientists focused on hepatitis B drug discovery; coordinates scientific meetings held in the U.S., Europe, and Asia; sponsors summer research internships for high school and college students; and much more.

    Block serves on the board of the Hepatitis B Foundation, Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, Medical Advisory Board of Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs), Project Prevent (HIV education), and the Executive Committee of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. She is a member of the Hepatitis B Expert Panel of the Office of Minority Health, and former board member of the American Liver Foundation (1998-2001). Block received a BS in Biology from Goshen College, her BSN from Thomas Jefferson University, and her RN from the state of Pennsylvania.

    About the Hepatitis B Foundation:
    The Hepatitis B Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the global authority dedicated to eliminating hepatitis B, 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 headquartered in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it created to accelerate its research mission. To learn more, visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

    About Penn Asian Senior Services:
    PASSi is the first and only homecare agency in Pennsylvania to dedicate its efforts to helping frail Asian seniors with language barriers. PASSi now provides services in six different Asian languages with more than 200 home health aides. PASSi is also a leader in vocational instruction for entry-level health care workers. Since 2005, PASSi has trained 266 multi-lingual Home Health Aides and 130 Certified Nurse Aides. To learn more, visit www.passi.us.

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