127 Washington Ave, North Haven, CT 06473
National Helpline: 1-800-GO-LIVER
A Message from Our Board Chairman
As the Chairman of the Connecticut Division of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) it has been my privilege to hold this position for the past four to five years. As Chairman it has been my pleasure to be able to work with the staff, physicians, APRNs, PAs and so many passionate, dedicated volunteers. The Connecticut Division is recognized nationally for being very active and has set the bar for other areas of the country. My goals as Chairman are similar to what they have been over the past few years: raise awareness, create partnerships and relationships with local businesses and organizations, and provide assistance and research for those living with liver disease. We need to continue to educate the public and change their understanding of liver disease, liver health and the importance of organ donor awareness.
The Connecticut Board of Directors is extremely dedicated to the ALF mission. We begin all of our board meetings by reviewing what the mission means to the board.
Our Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) and Associate Medical Advisory Committee (AMAC) are such an important part of the Division team, and they continue to undertake projects that reach the public, improve awareness and change the stigma of liver disease.
This is an exciting time for hepatology and those living with liver disease. We will likely see an eradication of hepatitis C in our lifetime; this is monumental, especially for those of us who have been practicing since the days of non-A non-B hepatitis, through the days of Interferon three times a week, pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and now there are direct acting antivirals with cure rates above 90%. We are also seeing an explosion of understanding of other liver diseases, i.e., primary biliary cirrhosis, sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis. We have seen improved diagnostic capabilities, better surgical and interventional radiologic procedures - making our diagnostic and therapeutic goals easier to achieve.
Nonalcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is on the rise in adults and children due to the obesity problem worldwide. It is believed that NAFLD and NASH will be the number one reasons for liver transplant in a few years. The Division is aggressively developing a Fatty Liver Program for patients and professionals. As we develop this program, we will bring this information to the public with lectures, literature, and informational programs. We will also educate the medical community to make them aware of the important advances in diagnosis and therapy. We hope to partner with other associations as fatty liver is not just a liver disease, it is a system wide problem that brings exercise and diet, improved glucose control in the diabetic, and better control of cholesterol in those with abnormal lipid profile and risk.
The Division undertook a new awareness program in 2015, the organ and tissue donation Passport Program, in partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital, Harford Hospital, New England Organ Bank and Donate Life. The first program was held at Yale New Haven Hospital. In 2016 and 2017, we are branching out to other venues to bring the Passport Program to healthcare professionals within hospital settings throughout Connecticut.
If you are visiting this website, it means you have an interest in liver disease, you have a family member with liver disease, or maybe you care for patients with liver disease. We want this website and our division to be your resources. Our MAC/AMAC can answer your questions, point you in the right direction to the correct specialist, and even arrange for you to receive the information you need. We are here for you. For those of us who care for patients with liver disease, it is a passion!
I’d like to welcome our new Executive Director, Kathy Flynn, as she takes on the task of leading the Connecticut Division to new levels of success. I wish the best to JoAnn Thompson in her new role as the Senior Director, Divisions as she shares her experience as the former Connecticut Executive Director with the other divisions across the country.
I would also say thank you to the National Board of the American Liver Foundation. They have the dedication and the similar passion to get the ALF where we need to be on a global level.
Robert Leventhal, MD FACP AGAF