Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2011) – Nordstrom, Inc. announced Monday that it is recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 2011 by teaming up with Hep B Free and Organization of Chinese Americans to help raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for hepatitis B – the leading cause of liver cancer and one of the greatest health disparities facing the Asian Pacific American community.
According to Hep B Free, one in 10 Asian Americans is chronically infected with hepatitis B versus one in 1,000 of the general population. Early detection is important, and the hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B infection and the consequences of infection. As part of its 2011 “Living Well” initiative, Nordstrom is giving people an easy way to learn more about hepatitis B testing and prevention.
“Through our Heritage Month efforts, we are proud that we’re able to recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of our employees and our customers,” said Amelia Ransom Letcher, vice president of Diversity Affairs at Nordstrom. “We’re also extremely grateful to be partnering with Hep B Free and OCA, two fantastic organizations that are doing great things to educate people – specifically those within the Asian Pacific American community – about hepatitis B and find solutions for treatment and prevention.”
A new website, www.nordstrom.com/apahm, provides an opportunity for visitors to take action and learn more about hepatitis B. For every person who completes a hepatitis B awareness quiz in May via www.nordstrom.com/apahm, Nordstrom will make a $35 donation to Hep B Free, up to $75,000. Nordstrom is also spreading the word about the initiative via signs in its stores, its catalogs and by sharing information with its Twitter and Facebook followers.
“OCA is pleased to partner with Nordstrom and Hep B Free to raise awareness around hepatitis B,” said OCA National President Ken Lee. “This is a heightened problem in the Asian Pacific American community and it is important that we work together to increase visibility and educate everyone about this disease.”
“This is the first time we’ve partnered with a national retailer on a nationally coordinated awareness effort and the Asian American community to help end Hep B disease and liver cancer. We applaud Nordstrom’s support and partnership for this pressing health issue,” said Ted Fang, Director, AsianWeek Foundation and co-founder of San Francisco Hep B Free. “We encourage everyone to take the short quiz to learn more about hepatitis B and join our efforts to make America Hep B Free.”
For more information about Nordstrom’s recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and other heritage months throughout 2011, please visit www.nordstrom.com/livingwell.
Chronic hepatitis B infection is the greatest cause of liver cancer in the world, and one of the greatest health disparities between the Asian and non-Asian communities. Eighty percent of liver cancer worldwide is caused by chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. One in 10 Asians are chronically infected with HBV and are four times more likely to die from liver cancer compared with the general population. Early detection of HBV will benefit the infected individual as well as prevent the infection from spreading. HBV is not only vaccine preventable, but it also has effective treatments that prevent liver cancer.
Hep B Free is a multi-faceted and comprehensive campaign to make America free of hepatitis B disease and liver cancer through a nationwide collaboration, and network of localized efforts. The model was begun in San Francisco and is being replicated in Las Vegas, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Mateo County, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, and other municipalities. AsianWeek Foundation is a co-founder of Hep B Free with Asian Liver Center at Stanford University and San Francisco Department of Public Health. sfhepbfree.org.
Founded in 1973, OCA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA is engaged in organizing its 80 chapters and affiliates across the nation to develop both leadership and community involvement. The OCA National Center also serves as an effective vantage point for monitoring legislation and policy issues. OCA is online at ocanational.org.