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Hep B Free Launches New Business Initiative

San Francisco - JINS Eyewear, Crossings TV, along with several local businesses are partnering with San Francisco Hep B Free to launch the San Francisco Business Initiative, a call to action for businesses, big and small, to join the fight against hepatitis B in an effort to make San Francisco the first hepatitis B free city in the nation. San Francisco Hep B Free in partnership with San Francisco State University School of Nursing will take a grassroots approach to recruit 100 new business partners by December 2016.

The purpose of the new initiative is to encourage businesses based in San Francisco or who employ in San Francisco, to promote employee and community wellness around hepatitis B and liver cancer. Businesses are asked to sign a pledge form, coined the “Business Honor Roll,” acknowledging their recognition of hepatitis B as a prominent health issue among Asian and Pacific Islanders and committing to take a stand in eliminating hepatitis B in San Francisco.

Businesses will be provided with direct in person, or indirect education through brochure distribution, to educate employees and customers on the significance of hepatitis B. Business employees under the new Initiative will be eligible for free hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations. This new initiative will serve to expose a new, never before reached population of San Francisco to the significance of hepatitis B.

State Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma, District 2, has served as the honorary Spokesperson for SF Hep B Free and has been involved with the organization since its inception in 2007. “As someone who did not know that they were infected with hepatitis B because it was passed on to me at birth, it is imperative that people educate themselves and their loved ones on how to diagnose and treat this disease,” said Fiona Ma. “A routine blood exam could be the difference between life and death, so don’t delay.” As an Assemblywoman, Fiona pursued various efforts to raise awareness for hepatitis B through Assembly Bills and a resolution declaring May 2009 as Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19 as World Hepatitis Awareness Day.

Assemblymember David Chiu has been an active supporter of SF Hep B Free’s work since he was first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2008. “Our City has long been a national leader in Hepatitis B prevention efforts, due in large part to the tireless commitment of community advocates at SF Hep B Free and I’m excited to join them to launch this Business Initiative,” Chiu said. “Making sure San Francisco’s workers have access to free education on Hepatitis B as well as screenings and vaccinations is crucial to ensuring that everyone in our City is protected from this deadly disease.”

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