It’s hard to believe a year has passed since I became Executive Director of HBI in April 2023. Since then, we’ve been improving our organizational struc- ture to better serve our communities. Through programs like HBI-DC, HBI- Maryland, HBI-Virginia, HBI-Research, and our newest initiative, HBI-PRO, which supports non-English speaking LGBTQIA+ individuals, we’ve worked tirelessly to address the diverse needs of those we serve.

Congratulations to our HBI research team for a successful abstract submission to AASLD*, a leading organization of scientists and health care professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. This abstract, highlighting the efficacy of our community health worker (CHW)-led education and outreach initiative, will be presented at the es- teemed annual meeting, which will take place in November. Specifically, an HDV screening initiative for people with HBV, demonstrated increased rates of HDV testing, diagnosis, and linkage to care in HBV-infected individuals. This data will be useful for future grant applications and program devel- opment.

As HBI grows and expands our capabilities and reach into more communities, Apricot 360, by Bonterra, is a welcome and exciting addition. It offers robust data-management solutions that significantly enhance our efforts in infectious disease, chronic disease, and case management. Key capabilities include:

• Comprehensive Data Integration • Real-Time Data Access
• Customizable Reporting
• Advanced Analytics

• Secure Data Storage • Scalability

By leveraging Apricot 360, HBI is enhancing its ability to deliver effective and efficient health services, ultimately improving the well-being of our community. We are excited about how our upgraded platform can help us im- prove community health today, tomorrow, and into the future.

POWER to change, educate, and offer support to the LGBTQIA community.
RESPECT elevates how the community is treated.
OPPORTUNITY to make a meaningful impact on the community.

Our goal is to lead the community to feel safe and have trust in the free services we provide. Our focus is to help those who may not have legal status in the US and/or may have a language barrier.

HBI PRO’s vision is a world where the LGBTQIA community is free from health disparities, are linked to sustainable care, and feel part of a supportive community where they are free to express exactly who they are.

After joining Puerto Cerrata at a local event, HBI saw the need to reach out to the LGBTQIA community. What better way to do that than with members from the community itself? Our two CHWs, Alicia Rivera and Erik Gomez, are excited to launch this initiative together. Things have ramped up quickly! We have already done two events and are now preparing for HBI PRO PRIDE (June 8-9).

We are currently looking forward to the Capital Pride Parade!

We created this ad for “The Nigerian Times.” Our use of bright colors, culturally appropriate seniors, and easy-to-read content makes for an impactful and meaningful ad. In addition, we are leveraging social media to bring our educational initiatives to  larger audiences  One of our social media posts exceeded our expectations with over 60,000 Post Impressions!

HBI is collaborating with the American Diversity Group (ADG), and The Continuum Healthcare Network. The primary objective of the grant is to improve knowledge and awareness about healthy brain aging, dementia prevention, cognitive screening, and local resources for people living with or at risk for dementia through outreach and community-based activities.

We are reaching out to individuals aged 45-80 through partnering organizations, especially those serving African American, Hispanic, low-income, and foreign-born individuals, including African-born and recent immigrants.

“The most important message to get out,” says Community Health Worker, Heidi Dennie, “is the importance of early detection and care”. She emphasizes that medication can slow disease progression, underscoring the need for early intervention.  “Start a difficult conversation,” she says. “These conversations can educate and grow awareness, which will expand our reach and help us live into our mission.”

HBI is thrilled to be in a position to make a positive impact on Alzheimer’s patients and families in vulnerable populations!

On March 16, 2024, Khanh spent her day assisting clients at the HBI Pro Health Fair registration table, ensuring everyone felt welcome and understood. Her patience and attention to detail made the process smooth for all attendees. Khanh’s volunteer work with HBI is essential to the organization’s mission of improving healthcare access for all. Her efforts at the health fair demonstrate the impact dedicated volunteers can have in making healthcare more inclusive and accessible. Read our interview with Khanh Lee!

How long have you been volunteering at HBI?
I have been volunteering at HBI since April 28, 2023.

How did you choose to volunteer at HBI?
Joining the effort to provide care for underserved and uninsured individuals has always been a passion of mine, so naturally, I was drawn to volunteering for HBI when I saw that they were giving free health screenings to underserved populations.

What makes it meaningful for you to volunteer there?
As the eldest daughter of two immigrant parents, I am quite familiar with the language barrier struggles that non-English speaking families face when attempting to take care of their healthcare needs. Because of HBI, I have been privileged to be part of a diverse team and use my abilities to educate and advocate for patients by overcoming language barriers whenever I can.

Through each event I attend, it has always been incredibly meaningful to witness members of a community come together, no matter what ethnicity or background, and put their trust in us to help them find answers for their health. Time and time again, it has been a rewarding experience to help patients understand unfamiliar health concepts and watch them gain empowerment over their health.

What can you say to others who are thinking about volunteering for a nonprofit organization like HBI?
Just go ahead and do it! No matter what background you come from or what motivates you, the sooner you act and start volunteering, the sooner you can make a positive impact on communities that need your help.

We are currently looking for volunteers! If you are interested and would like more information, please contact us.

We are excited to introduce the Health Betterment Initiative (HBI), marking a transformation from our previous identity as the Hepatitis B Initiative. We are still HBI and have expanded to solidify our unwavering commitment to enhance overall health.
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