Welcoming New Board Members 

We're honored to welcome Dr. Michael Houghton, Dr. William Schaffner, and Dr. Stuart Gordon to our Liver Health Initiative team. They are pioneers of their fields, and have been outstanding advocates of liver health and primary prevention for many years. We're thrilled to have their advice and participation in helping engage other stakeholders to prioritize liver health education in programs for hepatitis, obesity, fatty liver disease, and the numerous other liver related diseases.


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Michael Houghton, PhD
Nobel Prize Winning Virologist

William Shaffner, MD
Professor of Preventive Medicine & Healthy Policy 

Stuart Gordon, MD
Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist


More on our new members . . .

"We are delighted to have these three outstanding individuals join the Liver Health Initiative's efforts to fill the enormous liver knowledge gap, that is essential to preventing the development of numerous liver related diseases currently at epidemic proportions worldwide." 


                                                                                                                                            ~ Thelma King Thiel, LHI Founder & Chair 

We are pleased to welcome Dr. William Schaffner, Dr. Stuart Gordon, and Dr. Michael Houghton, Nobel Laureate, to join LHI's efforts in promoting multifaceted education programs that emphasize individuals' active participation in their own healthcare and management (currently absent in most  schools, government and military agencies).


Dr. Schaffner's primary focus as a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has been the prevention of infectious diseases. He has worked extensively on the effective use of vaccines and has been a member of expert advisory committees that establish national vaccine policy. Committed to communicating about prevention to the general public, he regards his participation through LHI's efforts as a teaching opportunity. He often is invited to comment on local and national media on communicable disease issues, translating research and public health concerns into language that is optimized for public understanding and action. 


Dr. Stuart Gordon, a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine, has authored and co-authored over 200 research papers and serves on the Editorial Board of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. As the current  Director of the Division of TransplantHepatology at  Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan, Dr. Gordon is  committed to promoting liver health education to empower patients to understand and actively participate in protecting their newly  transplanted liver from unintentional damage. He is dedicated to helping LHI fill the enormous liver knowledge gap that underlies many chronic liver related diseases that continue to be a  major Global Public Health problem .  


Nobel Laureate, Dr Michael Houghton, is a British born virologist known for his contribution to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The identification of HCV facilitated the development of improved blood screenings and diagnostic methods for the detection of hepatitis caused specifically by HCV. For his breakthrough research, Houghton was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with American virologist Dr. Harvey Alter and Charles M Rice. Dr. Houghton has since moved to Canada and is continuing his research at the University of Alberta developing a vaccine for hepatitis C.

The Facts 


         Approximately half a billion individuals around the                  world are living with a liver disease

         Viral hepatitis, a silent epidemic, claims 1.4 million lives            annually - making it comparable to HIV, tuberculosis,                and malaria. 

         Many chronic liver related diseases including                          hepatitis, obesity, fatty liver, diabetes, high cholesterol,            and drug & alcohol abuse are preventable

LHI's Strategy 

Preventing disease, promoting screenings, and                 improving patient adherence to treatment regimen

depends on an understanding of the importance

of the liver.

Liver health education is the critical rationale, for                 motivating  individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles, and

avoid risk behaviors.

LHI works to promote liver health education by

creating educational materials, collaborating with organizations, and influencing health policy.  

Promoting liver health education. Our Passion is Prevention.

Meet Your


What does your liver

do for you?


New! Your Liver, Your Life, Your Choice Poster

Take a look at our newest poster, with life saving liver health messages. 

5 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Your Liver

Do you know what your liver does for you? You might be surprised at how important it is to your health, and life itself.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall. Your Body's Early Warning System.

Your liver is a non-complainer so you likely won't feel pain if it's in trouble. But one look in the mirror can give you some early warning signs. 

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Scott Friedman, MD

Chief, Division of Liver Diseases 

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

"The liver plays a vital, life-saving role in keeping our systems healthy throughout our bodies.  Often taken for granted, this amazing organ filters our blood and removes toxic waste products, produces proteins that support our cells, fights infection, and helps digest our food to bring nutrition to our tissues.  Protecting this precious and magical organ must be a top priority to spare millions the heartache and suffering that comes with failure of the liver to do its job. "


Kathleen Schwarz, MD

Professor of Pediatrics

Rady’s Children’s Hospital, San Diego

"Kids can do so much to protect their liver, a vital organ without which one cannot live. However in order for them to be proactive we owe it to them to educate them about how to keep that wonderful liver of theirs healthy. They need to know that being overweight can lead to serious liver damage and so can viruses like hepatitis B and C which are often acquired through injection drug use. Education is the key!"

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David Pound, MD

President of Indianapolis Gastroenterology Research Foundation

 "Despite advances in the treatment of hepatitis

C and B . . . there is still a desperate need to increase the understanding of liver wellness and disease prevention in the American public. By the time I meet many patients, their liver disease has silently advanced to irreversible damage."

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