Healthy Liver, Healthy Life: Part 2 in a series on ANTHC support and prevention against liver disease and hepatitisJuly 17, 2015
For more than 30 years, the Liver Disease & Hepatitis Program has conducted clinical research into treatment of viral hepatitis and autoimmune liver disease for the health of our Alaska Native people. This research has not only had important implications for the health of the more than 3,500 Alaska Native and American Indian people with chronic liver disease seen at ANMC and in field clinics across the state, but also for national and international clinical guidelines and public health policy regarding hepatitis.
Clinical research is just one of the many services of the Liver Disease & Hepatitis Program that has made it a national resource for the Indian Health Service and our Alaska Tribal Health System. The program also provides health monitoring of our people with chronic liver disease and health education for patients and providers. Liver Disease & Hepatitis Program services are available to all of our Tribal health partners and many education and treatment materials are available on the program’s website.
Continuous health monitoring of those at risk for liver disease or currently living with chronic liver disease helps improve the health of our people. By way of electronic registries, program staff can monitor lab results and coordinate follow-up care coordination with persons showing elevated risk of liver scarring and liver cancer. This monitoring leads to necessary screenings and health interventions to prevent liver cancer and worsening liver disease for our people across Alaska.
Health education for patients and providers also helps liver disease from progressing. A video teleconferencing continuing education program called LiverConnect began in 2011 to provide interactive consultative and educational services for medical providers. Program staff coordinates and often present at the monthly sessions that feature liver disease and related specialty education and anonymous case review presentations. LiverConnect is available for anyone with access to the video stream and is frequently viewed by providers across Alaska and the Lower 48.
Education and outreach is also available to the people we serve. Healthy Liver, Healthy Life is a quarterly education forum for patients and their families. These meetings feature expert presentations on a wide array of liver disease and health topics. The next Healthy Liver, Healthy Life meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the ANTHC Consortium Office Building (4000 Ambassador Drive) in conference room 4. You can also see Liver Disease & Hepatitis Program staff at health fairs and events across the state, including Alaska Federation of Natives, and conducting programs for health awareness days, such as the annual National Hepatitis Testing Day May 19.
For more information about the prevention and education services of the Liver Disease & Hepatitis Program, please visit www.anthc.org/hep.