Bucks County executive honored for national advocacy on behalf of healthcare workers and medical students fighting against discriminationOn July 25, World Hepatitis Day, the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation honored Joan M. Block, RN, BSN, executive director of the Hepatitis B Foundation for bringing incidents of discrimination of hepatitis B-infected healthcare workers and medical students to the attention of the U.S. government. Also honored was Anna S. Lok, M.D., F.R.C.P., director of Clinical Hepatology at the University of Michigan Health System, with whom Block has worked for many years in counseling HBV-infected students, and together they approached the CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) for help. As a result of their combined efforts, hepatitis B is now an officially recognized disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“With the help of many people and organizations such as the Department of Justice, we are very pleased that hepatitis B is now a recognized disability. It is important that healthcare providers and medical students who have been diagnosed with hepatitis B do not face discrimination,” said Block. “As we continue to devote time and research to combating this disease, it is wonderful to receive recognition for our strides. I accept the award on behalf of the Hepatitis B Foundation and the people we serve.”
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