Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Announces Centers Of Excellence Conference To Share Insights From Asia-Pacific Community Groups

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Announces Centers Of Excellence Conference To
     Share Insights From Asia-Pacific Community Groups On Viral Hepatitis
      Management In Honor Of The 10-Year Anniversary Of Delivering Hope

  PR Newswire

  NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2012

-- Since 2002, Delivering Hope™ has awarded $11.8 million (USD) in grants to
45 programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. The goal of the Centers of
Excellence is to share conclusions and recommendations from these programmes
to inform similar efforts.

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
(the Foundation) and its partners today launched a Centers of Excellence
Conference for Community Based Viral Hepatitis Interventions to share best
practices from the flagship hepatitis program Delivering Hope, which this year
celebrates its 10th anniversary. The Centers of Excellence conference is based
on 10 years of developing strategies to raise awareness of hepatitis B and C
and manage the virus in Asia-Pacific communities. The Centers of Excellence
conference will convene Delivering Hope partners to share insights and best
practices from past Delivering Hope grant recipients that can be implemented
in local communities in order to improve the lives of those with hepatitis B
and C.

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The Asia-Pacific region is heavily burdened by viral hepatitis. It is
estimated that China and India together have 123 million people infected with
chronic hepatitis B and 59 million people chronically infected with hepatitis
C.[1] All countries in the South-East Asia region consider hepatitis B and C
urgent public health issues, however awareness of hepatitis is considerably
low, and many countries lack the resources to coordinate and implement
programmes to control the viruses or provide citizens with vaccinations for
hepatitis B.[2] Delivering Hope works to reduce these health disparities by
funding and initiating programme grants to increase awareness, treatment and
care. To date, the programme has awarded $11.8 million (USD) in grants to 45
programmes across the region.

"Hepatitis B and C are serious global health threats, especially in China and
India, and are responsible for more than 80 percent of all liver cancer in
Asia," said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance. "The
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Delivering Hope programme, and its partners,
have funded research and pilot programmes that have really affected policy
decisions and made a big difference in how we approach prevention, care and
support for those affected by viral hepatitis, as well as their families and
communities. We must all work together to ensure that viral hepatitis
continues to have a really high national and international priority."

Through Delivering Hope , the Foundation works to raise awareness of viral
hepatitis B and C, reduce stigma, develop best practices for hepatitis B and C
that can inform public policy and build and enhance local partners'
capabilities. The programme also encompasses capacity building for health
care professionals and lay health workers.

Continuing the Legacy of Delivering Hope : Centers of Excellence Conference

Since partnering with Delivering Hope in 2002, The China Foundation for
Hepatitis Prevention and Control (CFHPC) has already implemented nine
community-based hepatitis education prevention and care projects in China.
CFHPC and the Foundation shared the experiences and lessons gained through
this work at the Center of Excellence conference in Beijing on 1-2 November,
aiming to mobilise additional community stakeholders to sustain these
programmes and develop similar programmes in their communities. Following the
meeting, the Chinese Center of Excellence will use these best practices to
execute similar awareness and prevention pilot programmes, develop a toolkit
that will include hepatitis B and C knowledge training, communicate with
relevant authority groups such as the Chinese Ministry of Health and National
and Provincial CDC and act as a training center to share hepatitis B and C
intervention experience.

In the past five years, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has expanded its
efforts considerably across India, providing more than $4 million (USD) to
support 18 grants in many states of the country. The work of the Delivering
Hope grant recipients has greatly impacted their communities. A recent
evaluation report developed jointly by several partners found that a rural
health care provider training programme implemented through a Delivering Hope
grant improved rural health care providers' understanding of illness and
medication. Liver Foundation West Bengal, Hope Initiative in Uttar Pradesh and
Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura have developed and implemented groundbreaking
interventions in awareness, prevention, capacity building and promoting harm
reduction. These groups shared their best practices with additional
organisations at the Center of Excellence conference in Kolkata, West Bengal,
India on 4 November. As a next step, Liver Foundation West Bengal will
consolidate best practices learned from the work of these groups, and package
this, along with consultations with government and other role-players in
health care and hepatitis, for organisations with similar missions to use.

"Over the past 10 years, Delivering Hope has benefited more than eight million
people including students, women, lay health workers, health care
professionals, migrant workers and the general public in both rural and urban
areas. The programme works to harness the power of local communities to enact
change and progress for viral hepatitis," said John Damonti, President of the
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. "The Foundation remains committed to this
programme and raising awareness to help fight this deadly disease. We look
forward to seeing how the sharing of best practices through our Centers of
Excellence conferences can further extend the ripples of change that our
partners have helped create into ever widening circles of hope and promise for
more people across the Asia-Pacific region."

Delivering Hope will continue its work in Asia-Pacific countries to increase
awareness and treatment for those at risk or living with hepatitis B and C.
The Foundation will also continue to support Centers of Excellence conferences
with the goal of sharing best practices for community-based partnerships that
improve treatment and awareness for hepatitis B and C.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Delivering Hope

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent charitable organisation
whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes
around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease.
The Foundation accomplishes this by strengthening community-based health care
worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive
services and mobilising communities in the fight against disease.

Since 2002, Delivering Hope has invested in and initiated 45 programme grants
across Asia totaling $11.8 million (USD) granted to 22 partners in mainland
China, Taiwan, India and Japan.

The Foundation's support initially focused on preventing mother-to-child
transmission of hepatitis B and promoting hepatitis B immunisation in China.
In 2006, the Foundation expanded those efforts to provide broader support for
hepatitis B and C awareness, prevention and education, including the adoption
of hepatitis B and C interventions and education in public health programmes.

Today, the Foundation's priority hepatitis B and C programmes encompass
capacity building for health care professionals and lay health workers,
disease education and awareness, and sharing of best practices in the
prevention and management of hepatitis B and C to inform public health policy.

Beyond hepatitis, the Foundation also focuses on HIV/AIDS in Africa through
its SECURE THE FUTURE® programme; diabetes in the U.S., China and India
through its Together On Diabetes™ programme; cancer in Central and Eastern
Europe through its Bridging Cancer Care™ programme; and mental health in the
U.S. through its Mental Health and Well-Being  programme. For more
information, visit the Foundation online at: .

About Chronic Hepatitis B

Chronic hepatitis B is a serious global health issue. Worldwide, more than two
billion people have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus and
approximately 350 million people are chronically infected. Chronic hepatitis B
can cause chronic liver disease and puts people at high risk of death from
cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. In some cases, a diagnosis is made
too late and the only option is a liver transplant.[3]

About Hepatitis C

Viral hepatitis C is one of the most common types of viral hepatitis, with
approximately 170 million people chronically infected worldwide. Estimates
show that between three and four million people become newly infected with
viral hepatitis C each year.[4] Although there is no vaccine to prevent
hepatitis C, it is a curable disease.[5]

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to
discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that help patients
prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers
Squibb, visit .


1.CEVHAP. Fun Facts about Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
    . Accessed October 2012.
2.World Health Organization. Viral Hepatitis in the WHO South-East Asia
    . Accessed October 2012.
3.World Hepatitis Alliance. What is Viral Hepatitis?
    . Accessed September 2012.
4.World Hepatitis Alliance. About Viral Hepatitis. . Accessed
    November 2012.
5.World Health Organization. Hepatitis C. . Accessed November

Contact: Joanna Ritter, +33(0)1-5883-6509,
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