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11 JANUARY 2019

First Annual Anthony S. Tavill, MD Academic Debate Held in Cleveland

As we enter a new year, I’m pleased to note that the American Liver Foundation’s Heartland Division hosted an inaugural event as 2018 ended.  On December 12th the “Anthony S. Tavill, MD Academic Debates”, named in memory of the late Dr. Tony Tavill of Cleveland Clinic, took place in Cleveland, Ohio with 71 attendees.  The Heartland Division’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) planned the program with Stanley Martin Cohen, MD, University Hospitals, serving as Course Coordinator.

Four institutions competed: Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).  Each academic medical center sent a two-member debate team, and each team had a senior faculty mentor.  The teams debated two topics, (1) Treating an HCV patient who injects drugs now vs. later and (2) Transplanting a hepatitis C positive liver into a hepatitis C negative recipient.  Eleven generous sponsors enabled the Division to award cash prizes to all participating team members and present a plaque to the two winning teams, Cleveland Clinic and UPMC.

The Heartland Division’s executive director, Katrina Homer, confirmed that this will be an annual event.  “The new program was so well received in Cleveland that our debate teams and Division MAC are already excitedly planning for next December! Bringing this program format to our Division from our peers in the Great Lakes Division is an example of the strength and benefit that we have as a national organization. We can learn from each other, and truly make an impact through shared resources and ideas,” Katrina said.

Periodically, I think about the diversity of individuals affected by liver disease and how ALF works to help.  We continue to add educational programs for medical providers to those we make available for patients, families and caregivers.  In addition, we continue to raise awareness about liver health and liver disease, and offer support and advocacy for those whose lives have been impacted.  This mission will continue to be in the forefront for those of us at ALF throughout 2019.

Tom Nealon
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation

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