Advocating and Spreading Awareness for Those Affected by Hepatitis B

Shrey Patel

Patel, Shrey
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Division of Community Oral Health


The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. The organization’s commitments include funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives, and serving as the primary source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community, and the general public.

Project Overview

Our projects this past summer included performing qualitative data research via the online softer Dedoose, developing an affordable medication fact sheet, authoring blog posts predicated around the effects of oral health and smoking cessation on Hepatitis B , and interviewing people living with chronic Hepatitis B to gather information about their experience.


Bridging the Gaps has truly been an eye-opening experience for me this summer. It served as an excellent opportunity for me not only to learn about the incredible work the Hepatitis B Foundation does, but it also helped me begin to understand the realities people living with chronic Hepatitis B face daily. The Bridging the Gaps program gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in a community that I previously knew nothing about, and as a result my level of empathy and compassion for those living with chronic illness has grown immensely. It was fulfilling to see how even though these non-profit organizations were affected negatively by COVID-19, they never shifted their focus away from helping the community. I gained new perspectives on healthcare, public health efforts, and the Philadelphia community – and for that I will forever be grateful.