2023 CAHNference

This year’s CAHNference program, centered on “The Future of Nursing,” offered a platform for introspection and dialogues regarding CAHN’s mission and the organization’s future. As we witness the continued evolution of liver nursing, we remain dedicated to serving our members and the communities we care for. Notably, our program featured purposeful choices that support planetary health, including a plant-based menu and eco-friendly practices such as ditching plastic lanyards.

The CAHNference commenced with a combined nurse networking session following the International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) HCV Intervention Symposium. We extend our gratitude to INHSU for their collaboration, which engaged numerous nurses in innovative HCV models and interventions, fostering new friendships and support networks.

Friday evening’s program paired two speakers to explore themes encompassing alcohol, liver health, and health policy. First, we heard from the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction, a national authority on alcohol policy, discussing updates to Canada’s “Guidance on Alcohol and Health,” a document that sparked significant public discourse in 2023. Subsequently, we gained insight from a patient with alcohol-associated liver disease, who shared his lived experiences, addressed disease stigma, and emphasized the need for advocacy in reducing alcohol-related harm to society.

Saturday morning adopted an intentional tone, reflecting on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. An exceptional panel of speakers joined us to reflect on the essence of true reconciliation and its significance as Canadian citizens and liver nurses caring for patients with chronic liver diseases.

Our program then transitioned to exploring viral hepatitis in migrants, providing valuable insight into the journey from arrival in Canada to healthcare. This was complemented by a high-level cascade of care perspective, bridging the real-life experience with each crucial step toward treatment.

To conclude the morning, we delved into the sphere of planetary health and its implications for liver nursing. These discussions initiated ongoing conversations about the role we play as a liver nurse organization, with aspirations to incorporate more recommendations into future CAHNference programming. We also hope these dialogues will pave the way for potential collaborations with liver nurses worldwide, aligning with global liver societies’ priorities.

In the afternoon, we showcased exemplary nurse-led models of care, including a solo NP hepatology program, RN-led paracentesis, and RN-led care for those with MASLD in both hospital and community settings. These models signify pioneering efforts where RNs are practicing to their full scope, taking the lead in care provision.

Our program concluded with two dynamic speakers addressing obesity management. We explored practical approaches to discuss weight loss goals with patients and learned about strategies for engaging in shared decision-making. Notably, this session shed light on novel medications soon to be available in Canada and encouraged us to contemplate how to better support patients in the long term with an evidence-based approach.

We extend our sincere thanks to all attendees, sponsors, partners, speakers, the organizing committee, and our dedicated members. Without your unwavering support, we could not have hosted such a fantastic event. We believe it was an engaging and thought-provoking weekend and hope that everyone enjoyed the content. Stay tuned for more exciting developments and collaborations in the future. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable journey.