Honoring Excellence in the Field of Liver Disease

Dr Lisa Nyberg Award Recipient Rita Mccrerey and Scott Suckow Executive Director Liver Coalition of San Diego

With great pride, the Liver Coalition of San Diego hosted the Liver Excellence Gala on October 29, 2023 to honor those making a difference in the liver community, while bringing patients and physicians together.


Previously, the event was called Flavors of San Diego and was recognized as the premiere culinary fundraiser in San Diego for the liver community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last Flavors of San Diego was held in 2019. Organizers at the Liver Coalition were pleased to incorporate the Flavors Experience into the new Liver Excellence Gala. They worked with longtime supporter and past Flavors Chef Jeffrey Strauss with Pamplemousses Grille who catered the event and created an extraordinary culinary experience for their 2023 Gala! The Don Room at the El Cortez provided the perfect venue.

Five awards honoring excellence were presented. The Physician Legacy Award was established to recognize an outstanding clinician and leader in the field of liver disease. The honoree was Paul J. Pockros, MD. Dr. Pockros joined the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California in 1985 where he is currently the Director of the Liver Disease Center and the Director of Clinical Research at the Scripps Translational Science Institute.

The Innovation Award was created to recognize innovation in the life sciences sector for treatment advances of liver disease. This award had two honorees. The first was ProSciento that was recognized as a leading scientific voice and contributor to advancements in new therapeutics and devices for metabolic diseases. The second was Intercept Pharmaceuticals that was recognized for their focus on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare and serious liver diseases.

The Christie Media Award was created to recognize those who educate the public in pursuit of telling the story with journalistic integrity. This award was named to honor the memory of former Liver Coalition Board member and news anchor Brian Christie. In honor of their journalistic pursuits and the work put into their article: Hepatitis C is curable and efforts are ramping up in San Diego County to eliminate deadly disease, published in The San Diego Union-Tribune on August 11, 2023, the Liver Coalition recognized writers Paul Sisson and Blake Nelson who carried on the spirit of Brian Christie.

The final award presented was the Dr. Anders Nyberg Volunteer of the Year Award. It was created to recognize those who embody the values of compassion and dedication of service to the liver community. This award is named to honor the memory of Anders Nyberg, MD, PhD, a physician with Kaiser Permanente who was well known in the patient and caregiver community for his compassion, caring nature, and approachability. The award was presented to Rita McCrerey, who was inspired by both Dr. Anders Nyberg and his wife Dr. Lisa Nyberg to get involved in the liver community. Rita is the current Board President of the Liver Coalition.

The funds raised that evening support the Liver Coalition of San Diego’s mission: to save lives by improving liver health and preventing liver disease through community-based education, linkages to care, advocacy, and research programs.

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Esteban Villanueva