Black Liver Health Initiative Co-Founders

The Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian is committed to identifying and addressing transplant disparities for Black individuals. Our goal is to address both new and historic barriers to care through enhanced engagement with the Black community: listening, building awareness, providing education, increasing access, and advancing transformational transplant care.

Pictured (left to right): Co-founders Veronica Roye, DNP, FNP-BC, Nicole Golden, DNP, FNP-BC and Monica Nelson-Kone, BSN, RN.

Meet the team

Chronic liver disease is the 9th leading cause of death among Black Americans1. Black men are 60%2 more likely to have liver cancer than White men, and Black women are 40%3 more likely to die from liver cancer than White women. Despite the prevalence of liver disease in this population,  Black Americans are less likely to receive accurate and timely diagnosis4 and further unlikely to be referred to a specialist5 for the best care.  In response to these barriers, the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation has  developed an initiative to engage and promote liver healthcare equity in the Black community.



Is Your Liver Fit? Let’s Talk About Fatty Liver Disease

Date & Time: Thursday, July 22, 2021, 6:30pm-7:30pm ET

Did you know that Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the world? Join the Black Liver Health Initiative for a fun, interactive virtual conversation with Columbia University’s finest liver doctors, nurses and scientists to learn about NAFLD and how preventing and treating NAFLD can benefit all aspects of your health.

Join us live on Zoom and bring your questions!

Featured speakers:

Monica Nelson-Kone, BSN, RN
Co-Founder, Black Liver Health Initiative
Liver Transplant Coordinator, Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, CUIMC

Tess D. Pottinger, PhD
Statistical Geneticist, Institute for Genomic Medicine, CUIMC

Julia Wattacheril, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
The Director of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Program Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, CUIMC

Register now

Black Liver Health Initiative: Key Activities

BLHI Access


  • Expand clinical outreach to include underserved minority neighborhoods
  • Support community providers to decrease the length of time to specialty referral for Black patients with liver disease.
BLHI Awareness


  • Increase health literacy by educating the Black community through culturally competent health literacy strategies
  • Increase knowledge regarding treatment options for liver disease.
BLHI Advancements and Research

Advancements and Research

  • Engage in research that is specific to the Black community with liver disease.
  • Advocate for policy changes to decrease barriers to liver transplantation.
BLHI Mitigating Medical Mistrust

Mitigating Medical Mistrust

  • Commitment to ongoing internal cultural competency trainings for medical providers and staff.

Related links

Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation


1, 2, 3Office of Minority Health. (3/13/20). Retrieved from

4Nguyen, G. C., & Thuluvath, P. J. (2008). Racial disparity in liver disease: Biological, cultural, or socioeconomic factors. Hepatology, 47(3), 1058-1066. doi:10.1002/hep.22223

5Mathur, A. K., Sonnenday, C. J., & Merion, R. M. (2009). Race and Ethnicity in Access to and Outcomes of Liver Transplantation: A Critical Literature Review. American Journal of Transplantation, 9(12), 2662-2668. doi:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02857.x

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