Liver Nurse News - april 2023

Message from Lisa Douglas, CAHN’s new President

Happy Spring Everyone!

I would like to start by acknowledging and thanking Elizabeth Lee, who has now completed her term as CAHN president and moves into the Past President role for the next year. Her dedication and energy for CAHN and hepatology nursing are infectious, and her tireless work has set our organization on a path toward continued excellence. Thank you so much Liz for your commitment and efforts over these last several years.

Also very deserving of recognition – I would like to also extend sincere thanks to the additional members of CAHN’s Board of Directors who have recently completed their Board terms: Wendy Schaufert and Lori Lee Walston. We are fortunate that both Wendy and Lori Lee will continue to work as part of the CAHN Executive as Committee Chairs – we are very lucky to have them!

Hepatology nursing is at a pivotal and exciting time. Over the years, we have seen a shift in both the work that we do as well as the vision for the future of hepatology nursing. We have answered the call to diversify our skillsets, and every day we find new ways to provide care to our patients and clients. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the CAHN Board of Directors, the Executive committee and CAHN members as we shape and move the practice of Hepatology nursing forward into the future! I invite all members to be a part of the conversation – together we can do amazing things!

2023 Annual General Meeting

Four board of directors were elected at CAHN’s Annual General Meeting which took place virtually on March 15. The new board met shortly after to appoint committee chairs. Working committees are now being assembled and some have already started planning. Thank you to everyone who put their name forward as a volunteer. It is through the passion and dedication of volunteers that CAHN is able to bring education to members! 

Welcome CAHNs 2023 Executive Team!

In Memory Of Shirley Violet Alexander

Written by Shirley’s daughter, Liza Abraham

Shirley Violet Alexander, a long-standing former member of CAHN, active in the field of Hepatitis C from 1994-2014, passed away suddenly on April 11, 2023, at the age of 79.

Born August 26, 1943, in Cannonore, India, she spent her early career in Malaysia as a midwife, where she met and married her husband, Alex Abraham, in 1969. In 1970 they emigrated to Canada, where she would continue to expand her nursing career at Hamilton General Hospital, working in several departments over the years.

In the 90s, Shirley made a big career move during the early days of Hepatitis C, which would prove to be one of the best decisions of her life! In those days, the field was new and filled with exciting opportunities to learn and travel while doing so. One of our most cherished memories of our Mom is how much she loved that aspect of her job and how it took her to many beautiful places all over the world.

Her involvement with Hepatitis C was rich and fulfilling. So much so that she eventually trained and mentored colleagues, as well as her own children, Liza and Dennis Abraham, to follow in her footsteps. She was active in the very first discussions with a few colleagues around the need for a group of specially trained Hep C nurses, which eventually led to the creation of CAHN. When she finally retired, she was awarded CAHN’s Distinguished Service award for 20 years of dedicated service.

CAHNference 2023

 September 29-30 in Toronto.

CAHN’s Liver Health Education Conference brings together healthcare professionals, from coast to coast, to share leadership stories, clinical best practices, innovative research, and scientific developments impacting hepatology nurses, their patients, and associated healthcare disciplines. 

Thank you to the amazing CAHNference planning committee Elizabeth Lee, Mia Biondi, Megan Tomlinson, Ina Cherepaha-Kantorovich, and Kate Dunn.

Registration Information

CAHN Members & Friends of CAHN

CAHN members and Friends of CAHN enjoy a reduced registration fee and priority registration. Members who attended the Annual General Meeting are eligible for Travel Reimbursement Benefits. This year, CAHN will reimburse $500 towards travel plus one night’s accommodation at the host hotel rate. 

  • Early-Bird registration is now open until June 30 = $75
  • Registration increase on July 1 = $125



Registration includes a complimentary Friends of CAHN members for the remainder of 2023. This grants delegates access to CAHNference 2023 recordings as well as CAHN’s full educational library which includes recordings of past events and CAHNference Bytes. Click here to learn more about membership options. 

  • Early-Bird registration opens May 12 until June 30 = $125
  • Registration increase on July 1 = $175

preliminary agenda

Friday, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

18:00-19:00 CAHN Member Networking
19:30-20:00 Update to low risk drinking guidelines 2023- where do we go from here? 
2000-2030 Stigma and Liver Disease/Update to low risk drinking guidelines: a patient perspective 

Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT

Indigenous health and liver health

What is the meaning of true reconciliation?
Liver health in Indigenous populations
Provision of care in remote communities: adopting strategies to engage communities – approach to liver disease

Panel discussions on liver health topics

Structurally marginalized populations: Viral hepatitis screening and newcomers to Canada
Planetary health and liver health- what is the role of hepatology nurses?  

Cirrhosis Care

Barriers/successes of management of decompensated liver disease in rural communities
RN-led paracentesis model in an outpatient ambulatory liver clinic

Fatty Liver

Models of hepatology nursing care: RN-led NAFLD clinics across Canada
Weight loss strategies: conversations with your patient with fatty liver disease
Pharmacological therapies for fatty liver
Lived experience with fatty liver disease

2023 CLM Summary

This year’s conference took place in beautiful Halifax with educational programmes and symposiums through collaborative and joint efforts between the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in content from both associations while networking within a diverse community to exchange knowledge, ultimately improving the quality of life among people affected by liver and GI-related diseases.

CAHN started the 2023 session on Saturday morning with the Keynote speaker, Dr. Elliot Tapper, who presented an engaging and insightful talk on liver cirrhosis, including managing specific clinical manifestations.

The second session in CAHN’s program featured Hepatitis B, presented by Colina Yim, NP, with a thorough overview including epidemiology, pathophysiology, surveillance management and treatment, followed by an interactive case study presented by Dr. Carla Coffin and Colina Yim, NP.

Our afternoon session highlighted the topic of substance use in two parts: beginning with an in-depth presentation given by Marysia (Mish) Waraksa, NP, who provided in-depth Canadian data on drug toxicity and access to safer supply for people at risk of overdosing and the other by Bernadette Lettner, RN, who enlightened us on fostering cultural awareness and humility to provide a holistic approach to care for people with substance use disorder.

To cap off CAHN’s program, our highly anticipated annual debate between Dr. David Wong, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto/University Health Network vs. Dr. Edward Tam, Clinical Hepatologist, Pacific Gastroenterology Associates, Vancouver, BC – To B or not to B: A Question around Simplifying HBV care. The debate was well attended, with compelling and informative arguments from both sides.

Hill Day in Ottawa

As part of our partnership, CAHN joined CASL in bringing a delegation of members and patient/community partners to Ottawa for meetings and other activities on Parliament Hill, aimed at raising awareness about liver disease and its impacts, and calling on the government to implement a national strategy to address liver disease and raise awareness of this public health issue, which currently affects 1 in 4 Canadians.

Other Upcoming Events

National Nursing Week 2023

CNA officially announced the theme for National Nursing Week 2023 is Our Nurses. Our Future.

This theme embodies the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. It resonates exceptionally well in 2023 as CNA’s advocacy work focuses on supporting nurses and tackling the issues that matter most to them. These issues include safe patient care, better access to care, nurse well-being, harm reduction, and health human resources.

Visit CNA’s National Nursing Week web page for this year’s digital poster and social media images, all available for free download. We invite you to visit our social media channels for regular updates and information regarding celebrations to mark the week.

We look forward to celebrating International Nurses Day (May 12) and National Nursing Week (May 8-14) with you all!

Announcing 'The Essential Legal Nurse Consulting' Conference 2023

It’s been a tough few years, especially for nurses. While healthcare workers have been celebrated for their dedication and courage during the pandemic, the cost has been significant – exhaustion, burnout, low morale. Connect Medical Legal Education is writing to offer an opportunity to your members to move their career in a new direction.

‘The Essential Legal Nurse Consulting Conference’ prepares nurses to work as a Legal Nurse Consultant, using their knowledge in a whole new way. The skills learned can be applied to work as an independent Legal Nurse Consultant, or to enhance medical legal knowledge in the clinical environment.

Interested CAHN members are invited join the four-day live ‘Essential Legal Nurse Consulting Conference’ at Hotel Arts in Calgary, Alberta October 19th to 22nd, 2023, starting with a great party on the evening of Wednesday October 18th, 2023.

Registration is open and early bird pricing is still in effect. Sign up today and follow us on Instagram to learn more.

Innovations in NAFLD Care Workshop 2023

Do you want to hear different perspectives that healthcare professionals and patients with NAFLD face daily?

CAHN members are invited to join the Innovations in NAFLD Care Workshop 2023. This hybrid 2-day program will take place in Sercotel Caspe in Barcelona, Spain, from 26-27 May 2023.

Do not miss out on the chance to meet with key stakeholders of the field (including hepatologists, diabetologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and NAFLD patients) and discuss how to implement the most comprehensive models of NAFLD care in a focused, scientific setting.

Watch your invitation to join from the program chairs, Drs. Jeffrey Lazarus and Jörn Schattenberg:

If you believe anyone from your network would be interested in these details, then please feel free to share this with them as well.

Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors