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Patient Solicitations Can Make a Difference
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Melissa Palmer, MD posted:
Dr. Melissa Palmer is the Clinical Professor of Medicine and Director of Hepatology for NYU Hepatology Associates in Plainview, NY. Being an advocate for liver disease research throughout her career, she states: "the advances made in the prevention and treatment of liver disease have been truly remarkable, yet the field of hepatology receives scant attention from the media and little financial support compared with other disease states." As emphasized by the recent Institute of Medicine report, the burden of viral hepatitis in the US continues to grow. Dr Palmer notes that "the efforts of AASLD in support of the passage of bill HR 3974 [Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009> are to be applauded. Without increased funding of programs aimed at prevention, early diagnosis, and aggressive treatment of liver disease, the increasing morbidity and mortality due to liver disease is predicted to become overwhelming."

It is because of her desire to bring liver disease research to the forefront that she was asked to serve on the AASLD's Development Committee. Dr. Palmer began asking her patients enrolled in clinical trials to donate their stipends to The Liver Research Fund to support AASLD's research awards, educational grants, and programs. She asked AASLD to create information that could be distributed to her patients once she realized that many of her patients were willing to donate, but that they needed information on where and how to do so.

AASLD created a flyer stand, flyers, and postage-paid reply envelopes for display in offices, and these items have made it easier for Dr. Palmer's patients to donate to The Liver Research Fund.

Since Dr. Palmer started asking her patients for donations, they have given more than $9000 to The Liver Research Fund. "I hope this will spur enthusiasm among my peers to help raise funds for AASLD. Promoting The Liver Research Fund through my office is a component of my personal commitment to quality liver care," she enthuses.

Members of AASLD can request the fundraising stand, flyers, and information by contacting Heidi Bruce, Director of Development, by email to hbruce@aasld.org or by phone at (703) 299-9766.

Please click here to read the entire interview with Dr. Palmer.

This electronic newsletter is a bi-weekly publication of AASLD and replaces the former bi-monthly print newsletter and weekly e-news. Members are welcome to submit articles and may send suggestions to aharan@aasld.org .
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