The LIVERight Health Forums
“You can’t fix what you do not know is broken.”
While this may sound like an ancient proverb, it is actually an apt description of liver disease prevention—we simply must provide our communities with the education on liver disease prevention and risk factors they need to enjoy a liver-healthy life.
Fortunately, the LIVERight Health Forum is an incredible face-to-face opportunity that does just that.
The LIVERight Health Forums offer in-depth presentations by some of Canada’s leading liver specialists, family doctors, and dieticians—all completely free to the public.
Five host cities (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg) have welcomed thousands of attendees interested in learning about hepatitis B, hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cancer, children’s and youth’s liver diseases, liver transplants and nutrition to improve their liver health.
“The LIVERight Health Forums demonstrate recent breakthroughs in the management of common liver diseases to the general public,” says Dr. Kelly Burak, a Calgary hepatologist and long-time speaker at his local Forum. “What the general public may not know is that the signs and symptoms of liver disease are often very subtle until the advanced stages, which is why early detection is key.”
The Forums also welcome numerous attendees currently living with liver disease. Their experiences are shared, and support is provided at the forums to community members who see that no single age, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle is exempt from being affected by liver disease.
“These Health Forums address obstacles in liver health like hepatitis C where a treatment and a cure are readily available, but few patients have received it due to the cost of medication,” says Dr. Burak. “In addition, providing support and empowering both patients and primary care providers to manage common problems like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can go a long way in our goal to reduce liver disease’s impact.”
Many living with liver disease desire the chance to participate in an open dialogue with liver specialists, nutritionists and pharmacists and tap into the wealth of knowledge they possess. With this in mind, almost every Forum is designed to include a Q&A session with speakers where attendants can ask any burning questions that remain after presentations had concluded.
The opportunity to have a question answered in-person and instantaneously is so rare for many attendees, whether that be from a healthcare professional or someone with firsthand experience of liver disease. Many participants merely attend this session and use the opportunity to thank these professionals and liver disease survivors for the impact they make on the lives of others.
Another exceptional and well-received feature of these Health Forums come at our Vancouver LIVERight Health Forums, where simultaneous translation in Mandarin and Cantonese is available to fit the needs of Canada’s largest Asian population. Speaking to participants in their first-language helps to minimize the loss of information and increase the breadth of attendees, allowing this potentially lifesaving information to go even further.
Thanks to donor contributions, there is no price tag attached to the ability to attend the Forum or receive the information provided at them that can save lives. It is clear to us that the LIVERight Health Forums continue to be an essential asset to liver health in Canada, and we’re grateful for all of the positive feedback we’ve received from participants over the years.
To learn more about 2020 LIVERight Health Forum dates please contact your local chapter.