New York City Hepatitis B Coalition Kick-Off Event

June 17, 2009

NYC Hep B Coalition Co-Chairs Drs. Vivek Shinde and Simona KwonThe B Free CEED and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) co-sponsored the New York City Hepatitis B Coalition Kick-Off Event on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at the Jacob Javits Federal Building.  The mission of the NYC Hepatitis B Coalition is to coordinate efforts to prevent, manage, and reduce hepatitis B among all residents of NYC. The coalition seeks to foster an inclusive collaboration among all stakeholders to advance hepatitis B awareness, screening, access to care, and vaccination through education, outreach, advocacy, and support of research.

The Kick-Off Event introduced the purpose of the coalition, as well as results of the city-wide needs assessment that the Coalition Planning Meeting distributed to different organizations that provide hepatitis B services. Diverse stakeholders from academic institutions, health centers, community organizations, and service agencies were invited to attend the event to learn more about current hepatitis B activities taking place in NYC.  A welcome was presented by Geoff Beckett, the Prevention Branch Chief at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’ Division of Viral Hepatitis, followed by presentations from local experts on the current state of hepatitis B in NYC.  Katherine Bornschlegel from the NYC DOHMH’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases presented the current surveillance data the DOHMH has collected, while Dr. Henry Pollack, B Free CEED Scientific Principal Investigator, presented data from the B-free NYC community-based screenings.  Key organizations currently involved in hepatitis B programs were also invited to display posters of their current work and activities at the event.


Dr. Henry Pollack presenting at the Kick-Off Event

Close to 100 representatives from diverse organizations attended the event. The attendees were invited to participate in break-out sessions to identify potential projects in four topic areas: (1) education and training; (2) screening and vaccination; (3) care and treatment, and (4) policy, advocacy, and research.  During these break-out sessions, participants engaged in lively discussions about the current state of hepatitis B and possible solutions to the lack of resources and awareness of hepatitis B.  These break-out sessions were the first step to not only plan for activities but to also provide a forum for collaborations from the different stakeholders to develop and implement activities that address the needs and concerns of their communities.

B Free CEED will continue to co-chair the coalition and help provide technical assistance and guidance to ensure the success of the coalition’s initiatives.  Due to the success of the event, plans are being finalized to organize coalition meetings every two months. 

If you are in NYC and want to be involved with the Coalition, please contact the co-chairs for more information:
Vivek Shinde at 212-788-4714 or email:
Simona Kwon at 212-263-3026 or email:

Please also check the B Free CEED website for upcoming Coalition events and activities: