As the Chair of the Board of the Connecticut Division of the American Liver Foundation (ALF), it is my pleasure to welcome you to explore this website and to become involved in the Division! I have been involved in the American Liver Foundation since 2005, as member and past Chair of the Medical Advisor Committee and as member and current Chair of the Board. I have had the privilege of working with committed staff, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and volunteers with personal and professional interests in liver disease and patient and community outreach. The Connecticut Division was founded in 1983 and continues to serve as a flagship and trendsetter for the National office. My goals as Chair are to continue to bring innovative educational programming to patients, providers, and the community in an effort to raise awareness of liver disease and to dispel myths and stigma associated with liver disease. Partnering with community organizations and businesses to keep the board vital and representative of our great Nutmeg State is another important focus. Living the mission of the ALF, to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease, is at the heart of everything we do.
Our Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) is an essential part of our Division. In addition to gathering regularly to educate ourselves, volunteers on this committee help facilitate community outreach by delivering educational programming to local doctors’ offices, schools, and community organizations.
The field of hepatology (or the study of liver diseases) has undergone a revolution in recent years. We will likely see the complete eradication of hepatitis C in the next decade. Cutting edge research is now offering the promise of innovative therapeutic options for less common liver diseases, such as primary biliary cholangitis. Innovations in liver transplantation and living donation continue to offer this life saving surgery to individuals whose liver disease cannot be cured or stabilized.
It is estimated that over a third of the US population may be at risk for fatty liver disease – the most common form of liver disease. As fatty liver disease is on the rise in adults and children, we are turning our attention to delivering a Fatty Liver Program for patients and professionals. This program was developed in part by our Division and has now been approved by the National office for implementation across all divisions. We are bringing this information to the public with lectures, literature, and informational programs. We hope to partner with other associations as fatty liver is not just a liver disease, it is a systemic disease that often is accompanied by obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are often preventable with lifestyle modifications.
The organ and tissue donation Passport Program, started in 2015, in partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital, Harford Hospital, New England Organ Bank and Donate Life, continues to reach healthcare professionals at local hospitals to raise awareness about liver transplantation and organ donation. Our inaugural Rebirthday Celebration in October 2017 allowed transplant recipients, donors, and their families to gather to celebrate this life changing event. It was a great success! Another celebration is planned in the spring of 2018.
Since you are visiting this website, I’ll assume you have been touched by liver disease in some way – personally or professionally. Please count on our Division to provide you with information and support. Our staff and volunteers are well trained to answer questions and to point you in the right direction. We are here for you – whether you have liver disease, are a family member of an individual with liver disease, or a professional or community organization seeking to learn more about liver disease.
I’d like to thank our Executive Director, Kathy Flynn, who leads the Connecticut Division with skill and passion, and our great staff – Alicia, Donna, Katelyn, and Lylah who do so much to reach out to the community and to plan and execute our events!
I am also deeply grateful to the National Office of the American Liver Foundation. National leadership works closely with us and other regional divisions to reach ever greater heights across the country.
Tamar Taddei, MD, AGAF, FAASLD