Governing Board

Joan Block

Board Member

Philadelphia, USA

Ms. Joan Block is a nationally recognized leader in hepatitis B outreach, education and patient advocacy. She is co-founder and senior advisor of the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF), which is the nation’s leading nonprofit research and disease advocacy organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the lives of those affected worldwide. On June 30, 2017, Joan stepped down as executive director of the HBF at which time she shared for the first time her personal story about living with chronic hepatitis B. The HBF was established in 1991 in response to her diagnosis by her husband Dr. Timothy Block, and friends Paul and Janine Witte. Today, through the tireless commitment of these two couples, the HBF has grown from a grassroots effort into a professional research and advocacy organization with a global reach. Over the past 26 years, Joan has spearheaded and created comprehensive outreach, education and patient advocacy programs to address unmet needs of those affected as well as increase the visibility of hepatitis B as an urgent public health priority. In 2012, she established in partnership with AAPCHO the first national hepatitis B coalition – Hep B United – that now includes more than 30 local coalition member groups across the country, and industry and federal partners. In 2013, hepatitis B became a protected condition under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) as a result of her persistent advocacy for hepatitis B-related discrimination against infected healthcare workers and students. In 2015, she was invited to serve on the World Health Organization’s Committee for Development of Guidelines for the Management of Hepatitis B, the first such published guidelines by WHO. Joan has published extensively on hepatitis B-related issues and received recognition from the White House and the CDC Foundation for her leadership in promoting the elimination of viral hepatitis; a Woman of Distinction award from the Philadelphia Business Journal for nonprofit leadership; and a Distinguished Health Leadership award from Penn Asian Services for addressing a health issue that disproportionately impacts Asian Americans. She served on the boards of the American Liver Foundation, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, and Hepatitis B Foundation and its research institute, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Goshen College, a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, and practiced as a registered nurse in pediatric oncology, adult cardiac care and nursing education.