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Pennsylvania couple to receive Hepatitis B Foundation’s Community Leadership Award

                                                                                     Catharine and Rob Williams of Strafford are longtime supporters of the Foundation.

 The Hepatitis B Foundation announced today that Catharine and Rob Williams, who reside in Strafford, Pa., have been chosen to receive the Foundation’s Community Leadership Award for 2024. They will be honored on April 5 at the organization’s Annual Gala. 

A member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2008, Catharine has served for many years on the executive committee and chairs the development committee, and Rob has been an active partner in their work.

Rob and Catherine WilliamsHepatitis B Foundation President Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH, said: “Catharine and Rob truly embody this award. They have opened their hearts and their home to the Hepatitis B Foundation. They have helped other families by sharing their own experiences at B Informed patient conferences, and helped the Foundation improve its programming geared towards families impacted by hepatitis B. And Catharine has dedicated countless hours to thinking of new, innovative ways to help the Hepatitis B Foundation and Baruch S. Blumberg Institute further their missions.”

The Williamses were the initial inspiration and supporters of the #justB storytelling initiative, Dr. Cohen said, which created a global movement of people sharing their experiences living with hepatitis B. Catharine and Rob contributed the seed funding for the Foundation’s first three Storyteller videos, setting the stage for this outstanding program, which now has more than 80 storytellers from six countries.

“Hepatitis B should not derail anyone’s life,” Catharine said. “The Hepatitis B Foundation and the Blumberg Institute are improving the outcomes for people living with the disease. They are the change agents for this disease.”

 Beyond the Foundation, Catharine enjoyed a long career in economic development and Rob worked in aerospace engineering.

The Hepatitis B Foundation’s Community Leadership Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to communities highly impacted by hepatitis B, hepatitis D and liver cancer. Awardees also demonstrate additional commitment to community service outside of the hepatitis B space.

The Williamses will receive the Community Leadership Award at the 2024 Hepatitis B Foundation’s Annual Gala on Friday, April 5, in Warrington. The event attracts more than 250 leaders from academia, government, business and the regional community every year. Details will be posted early in 2024 on www.hepbgala.org.

About hepatitis B: The world’s most common serious liver infection, chronic hepatitis B, is caused by a virus that attacks and injures the liver. Each year up to 1 million people die from hepatitis B worldwide, even though it is preventable and treatable. Hepatitis B is a “silent epidemic” because most people do not have symptoms when they are newly or chronically infected. Thus, they can unknowingly infect others and continue the spread of hepatitis B. For people who are chronically infected but don’t have any symptoms, their livers still are being silently damaged, which can result in serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: As the world’s leading hepatitis B advocacy and research organization, the Hepatitis B Foundation is one of the most active proponents of improving hepatitis B screening, prevention, and treatment of the disease. We are the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. Founded in 1991, the Hepatitis B Foundation is based in Doylestown, Pa., with offices in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@hepbfoundation) or call us at 215-489-4900.

About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: An independent, nonprofit research organization, the Blumberg Institute was launched in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to advance its research mission. Today, the Institute is a leading center for translational research in hepatitis B and liver cancer. The Institute supports drug discovery, biomarker discovery and translational biotechnology around common research themes such as chronic hepatitis, liver disease and liver cancer in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. The Blumberg Institute is located in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it manages, near Doylestown, Pa. Visit www.blumberginstitute.org and follow us on Twitter @BlumbergInstit1.

Worldwide it is estimated that about 300 million people are chronically infected with hep B and each year up to 1 million people die from the disease, despite the fact that it is preventable and treatable.