Hepatitis B Foundation holds Pajama Gala
The need for social distancing didn’t stop the Hepatitis B Foundation and its Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (BSBI) in Doylestown from hosting the annual gala that serves as its major annual fundraiser.
The work it supports, usually called “the Crystal Ball,” is simply too important to set aside, even temporarily. In fact, the need for continued research is even more urgent. Chronic hepatitis B is among the underlying conditions that can make a COVID-19 infection deadly. Moreover, the World Health Organization set a goal of eliminating hepatitis B by 2030. The Hepatitis B Foundation in determined to stay on track and will introduce new investigational drugs this year.
For these reasons – and as a way of injecting some levity into the event – just for this year, the Crystal Ball was renamed the Pajama Gala and went on as scheduled, virtually, on April 24.
V. Scott Koerwer, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s (GCSOM) vice president for strategy, planning & communication and vice dean for graduate education, attended the event with other members of GCSOM’s Doylestown Campus team, including students.
“I am always impressed by BSBI and its work and the Pajama Gala only increased that admiration,” he said. “And I am grateful that our Doylestown Campus students had the opportunity to experience such resiliency and resolve among the eminent scientists and faculty members they learn from every day. The event was not only fun, it was successful. The team at BSBI proved it is possible to stay on mission and have a good time even while social distancing.”
During the ceremonies, BSBI bestowed the prestigious Baruch S. Blumberg prize upon John M. Taylor, PhD, a professor at the Fox Chase Cancer center. The award recognized Dr. Taylor’s significant contributions to the understanding of hepatitis B and D. Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, Esq., was honored with the Community Commitment Award. She was recognized for her work, which led to anti-discrimination protections for people living with hepatitis B in the U.S. This is significant in preventing discrimination against healthcare students and providers who have hepatitis B.
To learn more about the Hepatitis B Foundation's Pajama Gala, visit hepbgala.org.