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AASLD President's Choice Lecture: The National Strategy for the Control of Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer
Date:11/1/2010

BOSTON, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Howard Koh, the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), described the steps the U.S. administration is taking in response to the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on viral hepatitis in his 2010 President's Choice Lecture at The Liver Meeting®, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Dr. Koh formed and led a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-wide team that will soon issue a hepatitis action plan that will leverage new funding opportunities and integrate activities throughout HHS to build true systems of care for high-risk individuals.

Additionally, the plan will be used to strengthen partnerships with federal, professional, and patient organizations in an effort to set and implement policies to guide public health and clinical practice. Other goals of the plan will be to harmonize screening guidelines, create new strategies for workforce development, and improve hepatitis B vaccination rates for adults at high risk. Dr. Koh stressed the need for collaboration in addressing the epidemic of hepatitis, including the need to work with state and local health leaders and create stronger links with professional societies such as AASLD. The report will address the need for prevention and building the capacity for reducing the number and incidence of viral hepatitis infections and improving the health of patients and economic consequences of viral hepatitis.

Dr. Koh also praised the recent Trust for America's Health report developed in collaboration with AASLD that translates the IOM report into language that may be used to affect appropriations to support research and health care delivery for liver disease and also to be used in future legislation to make the screening, early detection, and treatment of viral hepatitis a reality.

Viral hepatitis is the fourth leading infectious
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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
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