ALF’s Bolter Recognized by New York State Department of Health
Photo Caption: Joanne Morne, Director AIDS Institute, Paul Bolter, Howard Zucker, M.D., Commissioner of Health, New York
I am delighted to let you know that one of the American Liver Foundation’s own, Paul Bolter, Community Outreach and Education Manager for the Greater New York Division (GNY), was awarded a 2018 Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award from the New York State Department of Health. The December 4th ceremony took place in Albany and recognized Paul’s commitment to eliminating hepatitis C by promoting hepatitis C testing, ensuring timely linkage to care and improving access to hepatitis C care, treatment and cure. Veronica Perez, the Division’s Executive Director, said, “During his entire career, Paul has worked to ensure that the people he serves receive support, and education. He has always fully immersed himself in the community to reach the under-served, partner with others and be a strong resource for all.”
Since joining ALF’s GNY Division in 2014, the youth population has been Paul’s focus. He worked on the creation of ALF’s At-A-Glance education cards for young adults and continues to provide hep C education in local high schools and colleges. In 2017-18 alone, he reached nearly 2000 students and young adults, spreading information on what causes hep c and the importance of testing and treatment. As a result, school administrators now contact Paul to provide education for their students – and ALF has become a respected voice on how hep C impacts our youth in New York and across the country.
This year, Paul was critical to ALF’s expanded efforts to educate veterans on their increased risk for hep C. The relationships he formed have been so successful that ALF’s Greater New York Division now has a welcome place within this marginalized population. By August, Paul represented ALF to over 1500 veterans, their providers and support systems and has been asked to sit on a new advisory board to help veterans access care for hep C.
Paul also brought education and awareness to the Asian and Hispanic/Latino communities by facilitating special programs in Chinese and Spanish languages with interpretation. The first program like this was geared to Hispanic/Latino individuals about the risk of not only hepatitis C but also HIV coinfection. The program for the Asian community was a first of its kind here in New York City and was such a big success that Paul has been asked to replicate the program in another part of the city that is also at great risk for hepatitis B and liver cancer.
When asked for a comment, Paul responded modestly, “I do this work not for accolades but to help others by lending my personal and professional experiences and offer hope and support to fight against stigma and isolation. Liver disease impacts not only the patient but also the community that surrounds us and we all need proper information and compassion to get through the hard times and live disease-free.”
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation
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