A message from our friends at AAPCHO:

Dear Advocate,

Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans account for 50% of people with chronic hepatitis B in the US but only 45% – less than half know they are infected. It is time to raise awareness within our communities AND among our legislators about this epidemic. These resolutions are important elements of our campaign to eliminate hepatitis B transmission in the U.S. Please call your Representative & Senators today and ask them to sign on! All the info you need is below/attached.  WE NEED YOUR VOICE TO ELIMINATE HEPATITIS B TRANSMISSION!

ACTION ALERT

Call your Representative and Senators to Cosponsor Congressional Resolution on World Hepatitis Day and National Hepatitis Awareness

Dear Colleagues-

Call your Representative AND Senators to ask that they become cosponsors of the House and Senate resolutions designating May 19th as World Hepatitis Day and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month.

This Resolution supports the goals and ideals of World Hepatitis Day, May 19 and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month. The goals of World Hepatitis Day and National Hepatitis Awareness Month are to highlight the global chronic viral hepatitis epidemics, to recognize the need for a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign designed to help infected patients and their physicians identify and manage the disease, and to help increase the length and quality of life for those diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B and C infections.

Background
House of Representatives
Representatives Joseph “Ahn” Cao (R-LA), Mike Honda (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) recently introduced a National Hepatitis Awareness Month and World Hepatitis Day resolution (H.RES.1302). The more Members of the House that cosponsor H.RES.1302 in advance of World Hepatitis Day on May 19, the better the chance of passage. A copy of the Dear Colleague letter is attached and below. The following is a list of current cosponsors:

Rep Cao, Joseph [LA-2]
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2]
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU]
Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [LA-7]
Rep Cassidy, Bill [LA-6]
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI]
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32]
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7]
Rep Dent, Charles W. [PA-15]
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7]
Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15]
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15]
Rep Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. [GA-4]
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1]
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9]
Rep Melancon, Charlie [LA-3]
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC]
Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37]
Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13]
Rep Wu, David [OR-1]
Rep Young, Don [AK]

Senate
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) will be introducing the Senate resolution on or near May 19. Please note that there is no bill number as the Senate resolution has not been introduced yet. Her office is recruiting original cosponsors to list when the resolution is introduced. A copy of the Dear Colleague letter is attached and below.

Action
Ask Members of Congress to become cosponsors of the House and Senate resolutions designating May 19th as World Hepatitis Day and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month.

It is urgent that your calls and/or e-mails be made immediately. Please call your Representative’s and Senators’ Washington, DC office. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles health issues. You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202.225.3121. Ask to be connected to your Representative’s or Senator’s office. If you do not know who your Representative and Senators are, you can go online to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

You may also send the staff person an e-mail. Please ask for the person on the phone to spell the person’s name for you as they often will not give out e-mail addresses. Typically in the House, e-mail addresses are firstname.lastname@mail.house.gov as in corinna.dan@mail.house.gov and in the Senate it is firstname_lastname@senatorlastname.senate.gov as in corinna_dan@mikulski.senate.gov. Note the period and underscore between the names when e-mailing the House and Senate respectively.

Whether you speak to this person directly, leave a message or e-mail, tell them:

“My name is ____________________ and I’m a constituent of Representative/Senator____________________. I am calling to urge my Member of Congress to cosponsor a Congressional Resolution designating May 19th as World Hepatitis Day and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month.

[If you are calling a Representative] H.RES.1302 was introduced with bipartisan support from Representatives Joseph “Ahn” Cao (LA), Mike Honda (CA), Hank Johnson (GA), Charlie Dent (PA), and Bill Cassidy (LA). [If you are calling a Senator] The Senate Resolution is going to be introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (CA) and we need you as an original co-sponsor.

Hepatitis B and C affect over 5 million Americans and is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the most deadly, expensive, and fastest growing killers of Americans every year, and the leading cause of liver transplants each year. This Resolution is an important, cost-neutral and non-controversial step to increase the much-needed awareness of hepatitis among the American public and our health providers. This is important to me personally because________.”

If you have any questions, please contact Corinna Dan (cdan@aapcho.org) or Colin Schwartz (cschwartz@NASTAD.org). Thanks for taking the time to contact your Members of Congress!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 6:05 pm and is filed under Health Parity Alerts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.