Welcome to the blog of the American Liver Foundation, Great Lakes Division.  Be sure to subscribe to our posts to stay up to date on the latest and greatest programs, events, and happenings here in the Great Lakes.

– The Great Lakes Team


ALF GLD Welcomes Dr. Charlton and Dr. Kim to the Medical Advisory Committee!

ALF Great Lakes Division is very excited to welcome Dr. Michael Charlton and Dr. David Kim to the Medical Advisory Committee!

Dr. Michael Charlton:

Dr. Michael Charlton, March 13, 2017. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

Dr. Charlton is President of the International Liver Transplant Society and recently joined the University of Chicago as a Professor of Medicine, where he has been appointed Director of the Center for Liver Diseases and Medical Director of the Transplantation Institute. Dr. Charlton previously served as a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic and at Intermountain Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Center, where he served as Director of Hepatology and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation. He has held editorial roles for leading journals, including, associate editor for Hepatology, Transplantation, American Journal of Transplantation, and Liver Transplantation, and was a founding Associate Editor for Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  He has served as principal investigator on grants from and been a study section member for the National Institutes of Health, including studies of the pathophysiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  He has published over 200 manuscripts and is a lead investigator for national and international clinical trials in viral hepatitis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. He serves as a panel member and writer of AASLD Guidelines for the management of hepatitis C and for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. He is the only physician to serve on both of these panels.

Dr. David Kim

Dr. David Kim.jpg

Dr. Kim completed his internal medicine and GI fellowship at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA.  In 2002, he joined Northwest Gastroenterologists in Arlington Heights,   and devoted his clinical practice to the diagnosis and management of liver disease in the community.  Dr. Kim has given talks on liver topics at both local and regional conferences and has also moderated symposiums on liver disease awareness.  Dr. Kim is also a speaker and serves on the advisory board for several pharmaceutical companies that produce medications that help combat liver disease.

Advocacy Action Alert!

In a “Hail Mary” effort, some lawmakers are trying a last ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. If it passes, the legislation would reduce access to healthcare for those who need it the most. We can’t let that happen. Use the American Liver Foundation’s easy-to-use form to contact your senators and ask them to oppose the Graham-Cassidy Bill. Take action now HERE!


Journeys: A Culinary Odyssey

On Friday, September 8th the ALF, Great Lakes Division hosted our Inaugural Journeys: A Culinary Odyssey & Poster Competition at Venue One Loft on Chicago’s West Side.

The event was a rousing success – raising almost $150,000 to end liver disease while showcasing some of Chicago’s top chef talent and Young Investigators educated attendees on basic liver disease topics.

The chef-tasting networking format event was a first for the Great Lakes Division and promoted guest interaction and participation in the evenings many activities.

Journeys honored two incredible individuals for their commitment to ending liver disease. Dr. Mary Rinella was selected as our “Guiding the Journey” Medical Honoree. Jena Dangerfield was the evenings “Walking the Journey” Community Honoree.
Check our our Honoree’s Stories>

Top Chefs
One highlight was the selection of two Top Chefs – one chosen by the evenings judging panel and the second voted on by guests as “People’s Choice”. Chef Antonio Fiasche of N’duja Artistians and the soon opening Tempesta Market took home the Top Chef Award for the evening serving up a charcuterie table with specialty sandwiches. Chef Julian Ross, Topaz Cafe, took home the “People’s Choice” award for his vegetarian-focused menu.
See all of our incredible chefs>

Top Young Investigators
Also highlighted for the evening were Fellows from seven of Chicago’s academic medical centers. Two were selected for the Top Young Investigator award by a group of judges while the other was selected as “People’s Choice” winner. Dr. Justin Boike, Northwestern University, was selected as “Top Young Investigator” by our judging panel for his poster on Liver Transplantation while Dr. Jennifer Cahill, Loyola University, took home the “People’s Choice” award for her poster on Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease.
Check out our Young Investigator Posters>

If you were unable to join us this year – we hope to see you next year as we continue a new tradition for Chicago’s liver community!

Judson Todd Allen Releasing “The Spice Diet”

American Liver Foundation, Great Lakes Division Board Member Chef Judson Todd Allen’s upcoming book “The Spice Diet” is now available for pre-sale on Amazon! Some may have seen Chef Judson at last year’s Flavors and Liver Symposium and this year’s Journeys.

Celebrity chef Judson Todd Allen presents the diet that helped him lose 160 pounds, featuring 60 guilt-free recipes packed with powerhouse flavor created especially for THE SPICE DIET.

When Steve Harvey wanted to get camera-ready before his hit television show launched, he turned to Chef Judson Todd Allen to help him. While enjoying the flavorful food Chef Judson prepared, Steve Harvey lost 30 pounds and has kept them off. Chef Judson’s diet plan is heaven for food lovers. Using the principles of food science, he offers a way to eat that feels indulgent as it satisfies food cravings and reduces appetite. His program will not only help readers break their addiction to unhealthy foods without feeling deprived but will also inspire them to get into the kitchen to prepare irresistible, healthy meals. THE SPICE DIET provides a full weight-loss program that includes meal plans, creative spice blends, easy-to-prepare recipes, and a heaping helping of motivation.

Pre-order your copy of the healthy eating cookbook today!

ALF Supports Proposal by OPTN/UNOS to Enhance Liver Distribution

September 2017

Liver transplants have saved thousands of lives in the United States, but thousands more have died while waiting for organs to become available. It is well known that a patient’s access to an organ depends on where they live. Because of the great difference in organ availability that exists from region to region, the severity of illness a patient must have to receive an organ also varies region to region. While patients with financial means and family support may have the ability to move to a region that has more readily available organs, individuals lacking financial resources and family support resources are disadvantaged.

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) supports efforts to decrease the geographic disparities that exist in the current organ allocation process, including implementation of the proposed OPTN/UNOS policy to enhance liver distribution practices. This proposal seeks to ensure that the most urgent candidates who live in close proximity to the organ donor will have the opportunity to receive an organ. This will be achieved through a broader sharing threshold within each region as well as greater access to organs within 150-nautical-miles of their transplant center. The utilization of circular distribution in thoracic transplantation and the modeling presented in support of this proposal both suggest that this change should reduce the disparities which currently exist between regions.

While the ALF fully supports this proposal as a step in the right direction to increasing fairness in organ allocation, it does not address the critical organ shortage. The ALF strongly supports efforts to increase public awareness of transplantation as a means to increase organ donation. We feel that a public service campaign featuring adults and children saved by organ transplantation would go a long way toward putting a “face” on this issue.

The ALF applauds the committee for developing this proposal which may increase the likelihood that the patients with the greatest need will receive the lifesaving organ they require, even if it means that organ comes from outside their region. Further attention to addressing the geographic disparity is warranted, and we hope this will be the first step in bringing geographic equity to organ allocation.

Additional information and option to provide Public Comments can be found here: