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13 January 2010


Continuing Education Event For School Nurses To Feature Nationally Acclaimed Speakers

ST. LOUIS, MO.: The Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center will be presenting “The ABC’s of Liver Disease” at the Saint Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110 on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. The presentation is sponsored by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, and will take place from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Science Center’s Life Science Lab.

This inaugural educational event will be held for St. Louis area school educators and nurses, where they can learn first-hand from the doctors of the Saint Louis University Liver Center about the trends in liver disease among school-aged children, and what activities are putting them at risk for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and other liver diseases.

Nurses who attend this presentation will receive 2.0 Contact Hours of continuing education through the Saint Louis University School of Nursing, an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Missouri Nurses Association.

The presentation will feature two nationally acclaimed speakers from Saint Louis University’s Liver Center – Bruce R. Bacon, M.D. and Brent A. Tetri M.D. Dr. Ajay Jain will join theses two for the Q&A session following the presentation.

Dr. Bacon is the James F. King, MD Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology, Professor of Internal Medicine, and Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Bacon’s research has largely been in iron metabolism in the liver, and he was a member of a research team that discovered the gene that is abnormal in patients who have hereditary hemochromatosis. He has been honored for his research with the 1989 Marcel Simon Award for best research in hemochromatosis by a young investigator. In 1993, he was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Bacon’s basic research has been funded by a grant from the NIH to examine signaling pathways in hepatic stellate cells.

Dr. Tetri is also a Professor of Internal Medicine and a member of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He joined the faculty of Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center in July 1991 and has an active research interest in the mechanisms of pancreatic fibrogenesis and treatment of fatty liver disorders. Dr. Tetri uses pancreatic stellate cells to better understand and prevent the process that causes chronic pancreatitis. He is also an internationally recognized expert in disorders of the liver caused by insulin resistance and fat accumulation in the liver.

This special event is being presented by the Friends of the SLU Liver Center, which supports the research efforts of the world-renowned Saint Louis University Liver Center for the treatment and cure of liver diseases, and promotes understanding and awareness of liver disease. All money raised by the organization stays in the St. Louis area to perform life-saving research and treat patients in St. Louis.

“Each day we are discovering that more people are suffering from liver disease, including hepatitis C and B, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, auto immune liver disease and liver cancer,” said Dr. Bacon. “Many believe there’s little hope after being diagnosed, but there are new treatments and there is hope.”

Unfortunately, liver diseases aren’t relegated to the adult population. Dr. Tetri notes “As our children and adolescents become more sedentary and overweight, we are seeing more fatty liver disease in young people and sometimes this has already progressed to cirrhosis in teenagers. This combination of excess sugar and snack foods, plus sedentary screen time is causing diabetes and liver disease in our children that was mostly found in older adults just two decades ago.”

Dr. Bacon adds, “Educational and prevention programs funded through the Friends organization are crucial for local health providers, educators and most importantly, children and adults in the St. Louis area.”

He believes there are critical reasons to support Friends of the SLU Liver Center:
–    The Saint Louis University Liver Center enjoys worldwide recognition as a center of excellence. –    Hepatitis C affects 5 million people in the U.S.  One in 60 people have hepatitis C, and nearly two-thirds of those people do not know they have it.
–    Hepatitis C can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and is curable in about 60% of patients.
–    In addition to hepatitis C, there are over 30 other liver diseases which can be diagnosed and for which there are treatments.
–    All money raised by the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center stays in the St. Louis area to support programs in education and research in liver diseases.

The Friends organization has raised and donated more than $1.7 million for the SLULC since its inception. The funds help support the critical infrastructure of the Liver Center from faculty salaries to visiting professorships and patient-oriented seminars and research. By leveraging the donations of the Friends, the Liver Center is able to use the “seed money” as a match for larger grants from outside sources that generate $18 new dollars from outside the region for every $1 raised locally.

“The ABC’s of Liver Disease” presentation is open to all St. Louis metro area school nurses, both public and private. Admission and parking are free, but seating is limited. RSVP by calling Kathi Miller at 314-576-3078 or via email at by Monday, January 18, 2010.


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