2008 Neuropathy Action Awareness Day

June 26, 2008

The second annual "Neuropathy Action Awareness Day" was held June 26, 2008 at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center and was a huge success! The event attracted over 250 attendees, 17 exhibitors, 18 corporate sponsors and top-notch speakers from across the country. The best aspect of this exciting day was that neuropathy patients were not charged one cent for the daytime seminars or the luncheon. The NAF does not feel as though patients should ever have to pay to learn about their disease or to be educated on patient advocacy.

  • Dominick Spatafora


    Dominick Spatafora, President of the NAF, addresses attendees at the 2008 Neuropathy Action Awareness Day.

  • Carolyn Johnson


    Carolyn Johnson of ABC7 News San Francisco, who was Master of Ceremonies for the evening, addresses the audience.

  • "You Are Our Hero"


    Dominick Spatafora presents Carolyn Johnson with a “You Are Our Hero” Award.

  • California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi


    California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) addresses the audience.

  • Jennifer Holliday


    Grammy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Holliday sings to the audience.

    Blue Fish

The day was designed to promote public awareness of neuropathy, and to provide helpful information to those who have the disease or who care about someone who does. Several companies, organizations and government entities graciously agreed to exhibit at the event to educate conference attendees about their products and services. The NAF would like to thank the following exhibitors:

  • American Red Cross
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Crescent Healthcare
  • Institute for Restorative Health
  • California Department of Insurance
  • Coram Specialty Infusion Services
  • Office of the California Patient Advocate
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • BioRx
  • Walgreens - OptionCare
  • Northern California Chapter of The Neuropathy Association (NCCNA)
  • GBS/CIDP Foundation International
  • Origin BioMed Inc. (US)
  • Medtronic
  • California Department of Managed Healthcare (DMHC)
  • Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP)
  • UCSF Department of Nutrition and Food Services

The daytime seminars consisted of the following topics and speakers:

The Spectrum of Neuropathic Analgesia; Approaches to Drug Management, Novel Implantable Devices, and The Legal and Legislative Landscape

  • Scott M. Fishman, MD, Chief, Division of Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis

There Is Hope—What You Need to Know About Neuropathy: You’ve Just Come From The Doctor’s Office With A Diagnosis, Now What?

  • The Northern California Chapter of The Neuropathy Association (NCCNA)

IVIG and the Importance of Blood/Plasma

  • Patrick Schmidt, CEO, FFF Enterprises & Michelle Vogel, Alliance for Plasma Therapies

A New Hope for Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Ziv M. Peled, MD, Director, Dellon Institute for Peripheral Nerve and Plastic Surgery

Alternative Options in Treating Neuropathy

  • Eric I. Hassid, MD & Marco Vespignani, ND, Institute for Restorative Health, Davis, CA

Neuropathy 101 For Patients

  • Jonathan Katz, MD, Chief of Neuromuscular Services, CA Pacific Medical Center
  • Jeffrey Ralph, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of CA San Francisco

The buffet luncheon was the highlight of the day for many and featured:

  • Richard H. Carmona, M.D, M.P.H., FACS
    17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002 – 2006)
    Vice Chairman, Canyon Ranch
    CEO, Canyon Ranch Health Division
    President, Canyon Ranch Institute
  • Trisha Torrey, Every Patient’s Advocate
    Ten Tools Smart Patients Use to Navigate Their Medical Care
  • “You Are Our Hero Award”
    Recipient - Bev Anderson, President, NCCNA

The day ended with an evening reception, silent auction and dinner. The Master of Ceremonies and award recipient was Carolyn Johnson, ABC, San Francisco. Speakers and entertainment included the following:

Neuropathy 101 For the General Public

  • Todd Levine, MD and David Saperstein, MD
    Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward)

Special Celebrity Guest Jennifer Holliday

  • Grammy and Tony Award-winning American Singer and Actress

The feedback provided on the event was so positive that the NAF is already planning for the 3rd Annual "Neuropathy Action Awareness Day" to be held in June 2009!