Denny Simon has been active in hepatitis advocacy since the mid 90’s. He is a founder and Secretary/Treasurer of the Hepatitis C Association. His wife is a patient so he brings a caregiver’s perspective to his hepatitis activities. He has brought that message to Capitol Hill visits and is pleased that that messaging helped to persuade congressional endorsement of hepatitis legislation and funding increases.
Hepatitis C Association is an education provider and patient advocate non-profit. Its largest program has been in the substance abuse population where with benefit of Federal funding it provided CEU accredited training for clinicians in partnership with the American Association for Treatment of Opioid Dependence. Non-government grants have enabled continuation of a companion program for patients in the same and additional venues.
Dennis is the managing partner of Help.4.Hep a non-profit, peer-to-peer helpline where counselors work with patients to meet the challenges of hepatitis C head-on. Help.4.Hep’s peer counselors respond to each caller’s particular situation with practical and emotional support —such as where to get tested, treatment information, access to treatment and drugs. Support is provided nationally to people throughout their ongoing journey with hepatitis C.
Dennis is also a member of the fair Pricing Coalition (FPC), a group of community activists advocating for fair and sustainable pricing of viral hepatitis drugs in the United States. FPC works with pharmaceutical companies to represent patient interests as persuasively as possible to enable treatment access for as many patients as possible.
He has also served on the executive committee and as secretary and treasurer of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR).
Vanessa Ferrari was born and raised in northern CA.. She competed nationally in diving and gymnastics until the age of 17.and consistently place as number one in the nation in both sports.
Holding a Bachelor of Business Administration degree she has worked in sales and marketing for various industries ranging from high tech fortune 250 companies to fortune 500 retail companies. She is now performing upper level marketing responsibilities for Nike Corp and brings strong marketing knowledge to Long Riders.
Today she resides in Washington State and has three beautiful boys 9, 7 and 11 months old...
As Executive Director, Ryan directs NVHR’s viral hepatitis public policy, advocacy, communications, and education programs. Ryan served as NVHR’s Director of Public Policy from September, 2012 until March, 2014, where he developed and implemented the organization’s federal policy agenda, including leadership of the successful campaign to secure U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations calling for those at risk and those born between 1945 through 1965 to be tested for hepatitis C infection. Prior to his tenure at NVHR, Ryan worked at Project Inform for 17 years, advocating for increased access to health care and treatment for people with HIV and hepatitis C. He is a founding member of the San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force and has served on the Board of Directors of the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition and the National Hepatitis B Task Force: Focus on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
ERICK CHAN MD:
Board-certified gastroenterologist in practice at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), with a focus on, and passion for hepatology. He graduated with honors from Harvard College and Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed internal medicine, gastroenterology, and transplant hepatology training at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Chief of the Gastroenterology Department in Palo Alto, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group. He has led process improvements focused on quality, value, and the patient experience, and remains active in clinical research at PAMF.
Wayne hails from Nova Scotia, Canada, and 3 days after graduating (1994) from St. Francis Xavier University with a BS/Bed moved to Houston, TX. Wayne wanted to be a teacher and as fate would have it he developed Bell’s palsy in December 1994. After his visit with a neurologist he kind of switched careers and worked in the healthcare setting for the next 20 years either as an Event Fundraising Coordinator; Research Coordinator; Epidemiologist; Data Manager; Executive Director; Public Health Manager; and Liver Outreach Coordinator.
The liver field has been Wayne’s life for 9 years and he has provided viral hepatitis testing (over 15,000 to date), education, and linkage to care services for mostly the uninsured, indigent, or low income. Wayne was past Co-Chair/Chair of the Houston Viral Hepatitis Task Force, sits on Advisory Boards, had his own radio show (3 yrs), and started his own organization – Linkage to Health, Inc.
Director of Federal & State Affairs for Project Inform. In this role she is responsible for the organization’s hepatitis C policy activities at the national level and in California. In addition, she chairs the California Hepatitis Alliance, a statewide coalition working to end hepatitis B and C in California, and she chairs the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable's Steering Committee. Prior to these roles, she worked at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, where she served as the Viral Hepatitis & Integration Coordinator, and spent many years as a health educator and front line provider working with harm reduction programs, including street outreach, syringe access, overdose prevention, and sexual health programs.