2019 AHA Biennial Conference

We Rose to the Challenge! The 2019 AHA conference, held in beautiful Coffs Harbour, brought together hepatology nurses and allied health from Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It was wonderful to see so many delegates and sponsors coming together for what was a varied and interesting program, along with 2 functions that were very well attended.

We were extremely lucky to have 3 nurses attend from Canada – all members of the Canadian Association of hepatology Nurses. Colina Yim gave a great presentation on Advanced Practice and how nursing can bridge the gap for cirrhotic patients and lead to timely and effective care. Lesley Gallagher spoke about her role providing hepatitis C treatment to a very underprivileged population and the challenges that she has faced.  Elizabeth Lee presented an abstract on NP model to decrease hospital admissions.  All three presentations were insightful and educational, and it was fantastic to be able to network with international colleagues.

The educational committee chose to make the program varied this year, to highlight the direction that hepatology nursing is taking. To this end, the themes of the conference included Managing the Patient with End Stage Liver Disease, NAFLD/NASH, Viral Hepatitis and HCC, finishing with 2 workshops on research and self-care. The calibre of presentations from nurses, doctors and allied health was extremely high and I am sure that all of us that attended were able to leave with a lot more knowledge and ideas to continue our hepatology nursing journey.

We received a large amount of abstracts this year and were able to have a concurrent session with allowed 8 successful members to showcase the incredible nursing research that is being done around the country. We encourage any members undertaking any type of nursing research to think about submitting an abstract for future conferences.

The AHA Board would like to thank the members of the conference education committee: Megan Collins, Crystal Connolly, Francis Pekin, Olivia Cullen, Sally Spruce and Burglind Liddle.  We were again delighted with the support from our sponsors this year and due to this we were able to put on a fantastic event.  Thanks to our Principal Sponsor Gilead, Gold sponsor Norgine, Bronze sponsors Abbvie, Eisai, BMS, Medical Technologies and Bayer, and our strategic sponsors NSW Govt and Destination NSW.