The following is an announcement from ICHS:
International Community Health Services (ICHS) recently received the second installment of a total grant of $115,000 to support a new program to develop greater awareness of hepatitis B, a virus that afflicts an unusually high percentage of Asians and Pacific Islanders, potentially leading to liver disease and death.
Ambassador Daniel Liao, representative of the Taipei Mission in Sweden, came to the ICHS on May 6 to provide a $115,000 check to support ICHS’s efforts to do community outreach on hepatitis B. He was joined by his daughter Lily Liao.
Ambassador Liao, who previously served as secretary general of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs and was former Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office here in Seattle, first announced the multi-year grant from the Ann Wu Liao Foundation last December 31.
ICHS is the largest Asian Pacific American health care provider in the Pacific Northwest, serving over 25,000 patients in 53 different languages at seven different locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Shoreline.
Liao said his late wife, for whom the family foundation is named, was a carrier of the hepatitis B virus. She passed away in September, 2008. Liao said he will be working with the ICHS Foundation to approach other funders to also contribute to the hepatitis B education initiative.
Michael McKee, director of health services and community partnerships at ICHS, noted that May is Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month. He said the funding from the Ann Wu Liao Foundation helps the Hepatitis B Coalition “maintain the momentum we generated last year when members committed to envision a Washington State free of new hepatitis B infections.”
Mohammed Abdul-Kadir, coordinator of the Hepatitis Coalition of Washington, emphasized that hepatitis B is prevalent among Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other refugee and immigrant communities. Despite this situation, he said, “awareness of the health issue remains low at the level of policy makers, providers, affected communities, and the general public.”
Mariko Toyoji, research administrator at ICHS, said, “Awareness among both communities and healthcare providers is an essential part of the prevention and eradication of hepatitis B. Through this support, ICHS is able to build a network of stakeholders to provide education and raise awareness of the disease in the community.”
For more information about ICHS, please visit: www.ichs.com