Sean Byrne, representing Gilead, has always understood the importance of hepatitis awareness within our target communities. Through Gilead’s technical assistance and logistical expertise, we have been able to develop smarter programs and more targeted outreach interventions to reach our populations.
Boatemaa Ntiri-Reid leads the Viral Hepatitis Department at the Maryland Department of Health. Boatemaa has remained a champion of HBI-DC through the provision of Hepatitis C screening kits, technical assistance, and trainings. She has also championed the continued funding of viral hepatitis programs throughout the state of Maryland, resulting in our sustained services to patients in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s, and Baltimore City counties.
Ray Bridgewater is a friend and ally. Ray has proven to be a reliable contact within the community; assisting with events; referring HBI-DC to external organizations; and promoting awareness of viral hepatitis. He has single-handedly been the cause of several screening events resulting in successful identification of positive patients for linkages, and provides encouragement and support needed to communities looking to build trust with our organization.
Mamadou Samba is operating as the Director of the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs for DC (MOAA). Mamadou’s partnership with HBI-DC has grown over recent years with the united vision of increasing the reach to African immigrant populations within the District. As a leader within his community, he has brought his expertise of the nuances of community engagement enabling us to find new positives and link them to care.
Michael Kharfen is the Senior Deputy Director at the DC Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA). Michael saw the potential for additional programming within HBI-DC and aided us in expanding our services to include HIV screening, education, and linkage-to-care in 2017. Through his team’s guidance and encouragement, we will continue building this model as we service new groups of patients within the District over the coming years.
Kate Moraras is the Senior Program Director at Hepatitis B Foundation. As with any organization combatting a disease of this magnitude, it is imperative that we maintain connections with our sister organizations who are also leading the fight against viral hepatitis. Kate coordinates the annual Hep B United Summit; this is where the leading best practice research are highlighted. HBI-DC’s partnership with the Hepatitis B Foundation provides opportunities for HBI-DC to exchange knowledge with other organizations nationwide. It provides us with resources to create our own action plans and programmatic documents that would be in line with the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.
David Do is the Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA). David has championed HBI-DC’s work before the Mayor of DC, the DC Council, and relevant legislators to promote awareness of viral hepatitis and ensure consistent funding of our programs to these target populations. His dependable presence at our major community events also maintains trust within our populations to receive services they so desperately need.
Dr. Matthew Lin heads the Office of Minority Health, which provided HBI-DC with social media funding to target the African immigrant populations throughout the DC metropolitan area. Through the strategic campaigns of social media applications and national television advertisements, we were able to increase our reach within our target demographic, with the campaign remaining one of the major reasons patients sought screening.
Elizabeth Chung is the Executive Director of the Asian American Center of Frederick, MD. For over 10 years, Elizabeth worked with HBI-DC to host annual health fair in Frederick, MD where attendees could receive free hepatitis screenings. The Asian American Center of Frederick, MD has been dedicated to serving the community at the grassroots level.
Crystal Sukhee has championed the viral hepatitis cause within her community. With her endless devotion to the Mongolian community, Crystal’s work has resulted in the screening of over 1,000 patients and identification of 9% testing positive for hepatitis C and 6% for hepatitis B. For reference, the national average is 0.4% for hepatitis B according to CDC.