Country: United States
United States of America - WHD 2011
As last year, World Hepatitis Day (WHD) in the USA was celebrated in many states and had the support of community groups, local and federal government as well other institutions and private corporations. One of the main events was a White House reception on July 28 in the old Executive Office building that was attended by activists, academics, government officials, public health professionals, industry and other stakeholders. The initiative brought attention to the global health threat of viral hepatitis and promoted actions to confront it, such as the implementation of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this year. Doctor Howard K. Koh, the Assistant Secretary for Health, reaffirmed government commitment to hepatitis and read an official WHD proclamation on behalf of President Obama. Several members of Congress also spoke at the event, including Representatives Bill Cassidy, Judy Chu, Michael Honda, Hank Johnson, and Barbara Lee.
To help turn up the volume around hepatitis C a benefit music concert featuring the Allman Brothers Band and Natalie Cole was held in New York City on the evening before WHD with the support of the American Liver Foundation. Proceeds from the concert were donated to community-based organisations that support hepatitis C patients. The event received a great amount of attention from national and international media, accomplishing its goal to raise awareness. Additionally, two other events were celebrated in NYC: a screening and awareness initiative at Union Square Park and a press conference hosted by City Council Member Margaret Chin introducing a NYC Council Proclamation for World Hepatitis Day.
As part of a nationwide effort by Major League Baseball to bring attention to the causes and treatment of hepatitis C, testing and awareness raising events at select ballparks were organised with the support of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, and St. Louis Cardinals.
Several other events took place on WHD, including testing, press conferences & media blasts, poster displays, luncheons, video contests, photo contests, flash mobs, conferences and public demonstrations. Finally, WHD marked the debut of the new community-based organisation Hep Free Hawaii.