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NVHR NEWSLETTER – June 2016

Broadly Article Highlights Hepatitis C Epidemic
On June 16, 2016, NVHR’s Executive Director, Ryan Clary, was quoted in an article written by Broadly, titled It's Destroyed People's Lives”: The Shocking Rise in Hepatitis C-Related Deaths. In the article, Clary described how people who use drugs are discriminated against based on their level of substance abuse, citing insurance abstinence requirements for months before covering curative hepatitis C treatment.
 
The article also featured partners from Project Inform, Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), Drexel University College of Medicine, and Project Safe. Click here to read the full article.


NVHR Program Survey Summary
NVHR’s Hepatitis C Program focuses on increasing testing and linkage to care for hepatitis C in individuals born 1945-1965 (Baby Boomers) and others at risk for hepatitis C. Last October, NVHR released a Hepatitis C Program Survey asking partners to evaluate our resources and communicate their unique needs.

We received responses from 21 organizations in 14 states, including public health departments, community organizations, and advocacy coalitions. Respondents described successful approaches for hepatitis C screening for Baby Boomers, identified obstacles they faced, highlighted areas for expansion, and recommended future materials to strengthen their resources.

NVHR connected respondents to existing resources and created new materials in response to their requests. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The full program summary is available here.


National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B and C: Phase 2 Meeting
In April of 2016, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its initial findings regarding the feasibility of eliminating hepatitis B and C in the United States. This Phase 1 report confirmed that elimination was feasible, but cited substantial obstacles to reaching elimination.
 
On June 8-9, 2016, the Committee held a kick-off meeting for Phase 2. NVHR is a cosponsor of Phase 2, for which a final report will be released in spring of 2017. NVHR’s Executive Director Ryan Clary participated in the opening session, highlighting the report as a significant tool for advocates as they convey the need for adequate resources and policies to end the hepatitis B and C epidemics.
 
Click here for the agenda and presentations from the meeting. For more information and insight into the NAS process, visit our page on hepatitis B and C elimination here.


Newly Launched: Hepatitis C Treatment Access Page!
On June 13, NVHR launched a new Hepatitis C Treatment Access Page. This page is designed to help providers, patients, and advocates with information and tools to help them secure treatment for people living with hepatitis C.

We also launched a short survey collecting information from patients, providers, and advocates about challenges accessing hepatitis C treatment through state Medicaid programs. Click here to access the survey.
 
If you have suggestions for additions to the Treatment Access Page, please send them to Emily Stets, NVHR’s Program and Policy Associate.


Recap of Hepatitis C Treatment Access: State Level Advocacy Successes Webinar
On Friday, June 17, 2016, NVHR hosted a webinar highlighting the work of four advocates who have led successful efforts to expand access to hepatitis C treatment in their states. They shared their strategies, lessons learned, and advice for advocates in other states.
 
The webinar included panelist presentations from Dr. Dawn Fishbein (MedStar Washington Hospital Center), Emalie Huriaux (Project Inform and the California Hepatitis Alliance), Michael Ninburg (Hepatitis Education Project), and Sheldon Toubman, JD (New Haven Legal Assistance Center).
 
The slides and recording from the webinar are available here.


Recap of Twitter #HepChat: Partner Highlights from Hepatitis Awareness Month
On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, NVHR co-hosted a Twitter #HepChat with Hep B United, CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, and the Hepatitis B Foundation. The chat highlighted Hepatitis Awareness Month outreach events and allow hepatitis B and C partner organizations to share their successes and lessons learned from their efforts.

Check out the Storify for highlights and follow NVHR on Twitter for to stay updated on the hepatitis world!


Coming Up in July: Pharmacy Working Group Call
Interested in the intersection between hepatitis B and C and the role of pharmacies? In July, NVHR will host a Pharmacy Working Group Call, where we will hear from partners working on innovative strategies for testing in pharmacy settings. Visit NVHR’s Pharmacy Page to learn more about the role of pharmacists in viral hepatitis screening and linkage to care.
 
If you would like to join the Pharmacy Working Group call, please email Tina Broder, NVHR’s Senior Program Manager.


CDC Get Tested Button: Confidential Testing Near You
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their Get Tested site, where people can input their zip code and the site generates free testing and vaccination services in their area. CDC also included a button that community partners can put on their websites that links to the Get Tested site.
 
We discussed this service on our Hepatitis Awareness Month Planning Call in May. For notes from the meeting, click here. We hope this button helps you continue to promote hepatitis testing and vaccine services!

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