This year's Hep B Free Gala was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on 888 Howard
Street in San Francisco.
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More pictures from the event taken by Dr. Tomas Aragon of the Department of Public Health can be seen here.
The day's festivities started with a press conference featuring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh, who discussed a comprehensive national plan to fight the viral hepatitis epidemic. A blood draw was taken to encourage widespread testing. Two local residents infected by viral hepatitis spoke on their experiences living with the disease, in addition to a primary care physician speaking on the importance of getting tested.
In addition to discussing the Affordable Care Act's effect on the national plan, Dr. Koh highlighted the important role that San Francisco organizations have played in the movement to treat, prevent, and bring awareness to the viral hepatitis epidemic.
Viral hepatitis, which affects between 3.5 and 5.3 million Americans, is the leading cause of liver cancer. One in 10 Asians are chronically infected with hepatitis B and are four times more likely to die from liver cancer compared with the general population. Accordingly, San Francisco has the highest rate of liver cancer in the country.
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who is chronically infected with hepatitis B, introduced Dr. Koh. Assemblywoman Ma serves as the honorary chairwoman for SF Hep B Free, which has implemented widespread testing and public awareness in San Francisco through establishing strong partnerships between public health officials, medical professionals and treatment activists.
Herb K. Schultz, Region IX Director for HHS, also spoke on regional and national implementation of the plan by bringing together partners from all sectors and communities.
You can download KCBS and KGO radio news clips here. More pictures from the event taken by Dr. Tomas Aragon of the Department of Public Health can be seen here.
The "Ending All Hepatitis" 4th Annual San Francisco Hep B Free Gala kicked off with a VIP reception with Region IX Health and Human Services representatives and Dr. Howard Koh, with the dinner hosted by emcees Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and ABC 7 reporter and news anchor Alan Wang. Click on the photos to see more from the night!