Thank you, to the membership, for the support so many have shown as I begin my two-year term as President of CAHN. It is a special honour to be in this role as a hepatology nurse and be entrusted to lead an organization that I care deeply about.

Before I proceed further- I would like to thank outgoing President Donna Zukowski for her leadership over these past four years. She has been a tremendous leader for CAHN, and has led with grace, calm, and a high degree of professionalism. I have appreciated her support as a leader and as a colleague, working closely alongside her on the CAHN executive team, and I look forward to continued work with her to facilitate a seamless leadership transition. I will also continue Donna’s work in continuing to raise CAHN’s profile across health disciplines and hepatology-related organizations. 

As a member of the Board of Directors over these past two years, I have had the additional opportunity to witness first-hand the tremendous work and dedication by the entire executive team, and our members to support the continued growth and innovative work of hepatology nurses across Canada. While the pandemic presented unique challenges to our members nationwide, many rose to the challenge in their respective work environments to facilitate care delivery to individuals who were considered the most sick and vulnerable, in both primary and tertiary care settings. Some of these innovative care models were highlighted at CAHN’s first virtual ‘CAHNference‘ (over 200+ attendees); Canadian Liver Meeting; and CAHN’S first-ever supported study examining the impacts of the pandemic on Canadian hepatology nurses.

I am proud to have been a part of these important CAHN initiatives that highlight the work of our hepatology nurses, and will continue to work with our members, executive team and Board of Directors to foster opportunities for formal collaboration, education and mentorship. A few highlights for 2021 that we are looking forward to: launch of our second annual CAHNference in Fall 2021; and building educational supports that bridge our members’ needs to achieve CAHN’s Standards and Competencies.

I encourage you to put your name forward for committees at any time or for the executive or a board member in 2022. Do not hesitate to let us know what you think will make us better, what will expand knowledge, and ultimately contribute to excellence in practice. You can email: admin@cahn.ca

I look forward to working with our members, and I will do my best to serve our members during my term. 

Sincerely, 
Elizabeth (Liz) Lee, NP, MN, CGN(C) 

Highlights from CAHN’s Annual General Meeting

Our first-ever virtual AGM was a smooth success. Our new president, Elizabeth Lee, was elected by acclamation and we had four nominations to fill two board of director positions. We are appreciative of the loyalty and enthusiasm you (our members) continue to display towards CAHN and the work done by our dedicated volunteers.

Watch the Awards & Recognition Ceremony

If you were unable to attend the AGM, or would like to revisit the warm fuzzy feeling of our Awards and Recognition Ceremony, click this link to watch the recording.

Congratulations to our recipients.

Please welcome our executive team members elected and appointed for the 2021-2023 term.

Visit www.cahn.ca/executive-team to learn more about CAHN’s executive team members.

Thank you to the continuing Executive Team. Donna Zukowski as Past President, Lesley Gallagher as Vice President, Anna DeWolff as Board of Director, Membership Chair and Communications Chair, Dimitriana Kuzyk-Bernier as Board of Director, Leeya Brind’Amour as Board of Directory and Secretary, and Dennaye Fuchs as Conference Co-Chair.

Highlights from the Canadian Liver Meeting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4th annual Canadian Liver Meeting (CLM) was delivered virtually for the first time on May 2-5, 2021. The CLM theme, ‘Minimizing disparity on the Path to Viral Hepatitis Elimination’, was a collaboration between the Canadian Association of the Study of the Liver (CASL), the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC) and the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN).  For the first time, this year’s meeting collaborated with the American Association of the Study of the Liver (AASLD) for the inaugural North American Viral Hepatitis Elimination Summit, a two day symposium within the CLM.

There were 625 registrants from around the world, 50 of those being active CAHN members. CAHN’s program was well attended with 120-170 people per session.  We had over 7 hours of presentations, 17 presenters which included, which included, two hepatologists, a dietitian, and fourteen nurses. The overall satisfaction of the CAHN program was 4.5/5. The most attended talk was Nurse Led Models of Care and Nursing Strategies to Reach 2030 Elimination Goal. The agenda was developed primarily from topic suggestions by attendees at the CLM and CAHNference 2020, directly reflecting what our membership was asking for. It included nurse led models of care, case studies, and updates on fatty liver and autoimmune liver diseases. The program topics ranged from diagnosis and management of various liver diseases to our final session on progression, diagnosis, and management of end stage liver disease. We had our first Nursing Debate – virtual vs. in person care – along with many first time CAHN presenters. It was exciting to hear the amazing work our CAHN nurses are doing across the country, giving us so many things to learn from, share, and adapt in our own work environments. Thank you to all our presenters, who so generously share their experiences and knowledge with us.

The meeting platform worked very well, with multiple steams of talks going on at the same time, ability to chat with attendees, and sponsor ‘virtual booths’ we could visit. Don’t forget you can go back to the platform and view the sessions again.

We are already busy planning our upcoming CAHNference 2021 and the evaluations collected at the end of the CLM are being used to inform this agenda. If there are any topics you wish covered or are interested in presenting, please contact Danae Sale, our administrative consultant, at admin@cahn.ca. Thank you to our presenters, who so generously share their experiences and knowledge with us.

Article of interest: Canadian survey on knowledge of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among physicians (clinicians).

G Sebastiani, A Ramji, M Swain, K Patel, on behalf of the Canadian NASH Network.

LINK TO PUBLICATION ABSTRACT: https://canlivj.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/canlivj-2020-0033

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://canlivj.utpjournals.press/doi/pdf/10.3138/canlivj-2020-0033

Introduction to article by Elizabeth Lee, CAHN  

As hepatology nurses across Canada, we recognize the diversity of our clinical practices, as well as their intersections, which includes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). With Canadian predictive modelling demonstrating an increase in disease prevalence of NAFLD, and the associated rise of cirrhosis-related complications by 2030, hepatology nurses play an integral role in clinical management, regardless of clinical practice settings, across the chronic disease continuum of NAFLD.

To build the national strategy around this metabolic disease epidemic, it was essential for the Canadian NASH Network to establish an understanding of the knowledge of, and perceived needs, pertaining to NAFLD among Canadian physicians (primary care, specialists) and nurses. A web-based survey was sent by email between February and
June 2020 to professional organizations, including CAHN.

This article of interest shares the results of all survey respondents, broken down by discipline. Of 171 total respondents, 18 (11%) were nurses. While nurse respondents were underrepresented, they highlighted knowledge gaps around epidemiology, diagnostic methods, risk assessment, disease monitoring, and treatment options (pharmacological and non-pharmacological), mirroring results of the nurses’ perceived needs survey. These results provide great direction for future educational topics of interest for CAHN’s members, as well as ongoing collaboration with our clinical partners.

LINK to CASL website: https://hepatology.ca/education-events/stand-up-to-nash/

The above content was sponsored by Intercept.

Upcoming Events

All CAHN members who attended our Annual General Meeting in May, qualify for up to $200 in non-CAHN event registration reimbursements. Consider attending one or more of the following events.

Global Hepatitis Summit is now fully virtual. June 17-20. Learn more at https://ghs2020taipei.com/

The International Liver Congress – June 23-26. Learn more at https://easl.eu/

AHA Biennial Virtual Conference 2021 – November 4-5. The AHA member registration rate has graciously been extended to CAHN members! Learn more at https://www.hepatologyassociation.com.au/education/2021-conference/

CAHNference 2021 – Currently being planned for the end of November. Please stay tuned for more details.

CAHN collaborates to meet the WHO Hep C Elimination targets by 2030!

Eliminating hepatitis C is within our reach!

We’re creating a roadmap to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030 in Ontario. Over 110,000 Ontarians are living with hepatitis C and it is among the most burdensome infectious diseases in the province. With simple diagnosis, an effective cure, and proven prevention strategies, eliminating hepatitis C is within our grasp. We’re working across the sector to plan how Ontario can expand and implement evidence-informed actions to end hepatitis C for good. 

From a national blueprint to an Ontario Roadmap

Canada has committed to achieving WHO targets for eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat. In 2019, The Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC)  took the first step to create a national Blueprint to Inform Hepatitis C Elimination Efforts in Canada. This set out bold targets to eliminate hepatitis C including: 

  • Reduce new hepatitis C infections by 80%
  • Diagnose 90% of people living with hepatitis C
  • Initiate treatment for 80% of people living with hepatitis C

To meet these targets, the national blueprint outlines several evidence-informed recommendations to improve prevention, testing and treatment, and ways to track our progress.  CanHepC is supporting provinces and territories across Canada to take these recommendations and plan the path forward towards elimination in each region. 

Ontario is creating a roadmap to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030! Ontario is creating a roadmap to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030! Over 110,000 Ontarians are living with hepatitis C. With a simplified diagnosis, an effective cure, and proven prevention strategies, eliminating hepatitis C is within our reach. Building upon a 2019 national strategy, multiple stakeholders are coming together to chart the path to elimination in Ontario.

http://on.endhepc.ca/

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors