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10 OCTOBER 2018

ALF Makes Connections with Latino Communities in Greater Los Angeles Area

The American Liver Foundation’s Greater Los Angeles Division serves a diverse population, from farmers and ranchers to filmmakers and recent immigrants. Many of them share a common problem…their lives have been impacted by one of the more than 100 liver diseases. In other ways, their lives couldn’t be more different, and ALF is committed to reaching out to all of them. There is a massive need for information and access to reliable medical advice in under-served and underprivileged communities that is not being met at this time — and ALF is ready to help.

This year, for the first time, the Greater Los Angeles Division leadership decided to go to the communities with greatest needs and reach out to minority-dominated neighborhoods. On July 28th, an Ask the Experts program was presented in Spanish, at The Pico Union Project, a non-governmental organization with strong local ties to the Hispanic community.

Three liver specialists agreed to participate in the event: Dr. Anan Annamalai, Chair of transplant & hepato-pancreato-biliary and Director of transplant & hepato-pancreato-biliary research at St. Vincent Medical Center; Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, a liver specialist from University of Southern California (USC); and Dr. Mazen Noureddin, an authority in non-alcoholic liver disease and NASH from Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Liver Transplant Center. PowerPoint presentations were translated by Griselda Moreno, ALF Community Program Coordinator. Griselda also translated another presentation in real time and assisted with the Q and A session. She said “Language is a barrier to most of the Hispanic Community. By translating PowerPoint presentations and other texts for the event, we created an opportunity for the Hispanic Community to trust us and our mission. They needed someone who could relate to them and was a part of their culture and language. They were aware of their needs and felt free to communicate and asked questions through me. They felt completely supported by ALF.”

Presentations included information about drug and alcohol induced liver disease, liver cancer, fatty liver disease, Hep C and Hep B, as well as the importance of a healthy liver diet. A mobile medical unit from JWCH Institute Inc. provided Hep C, HIV and STD testing at the site for about 20 of the 50 community attendees. About 20 pre-med students from UCLA also attended the seminar and participated in Q and A session.

The Division is planning four additional Ask the Experts events prior to the year-end, all in under-served communities. Outreach will be through churches and local community centers. In addition, ALF’s Greater Los Angeles Division is partnering with the County Health Departments in Los Angeles and Orange County to spread the news about ALF events throughout their local medical outlets and especially in rehab centers that are run by the local governments.

Tom Nealon
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation

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