NOhep Villager: Hepatitis Education Project

For nearly 25 years, the Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) has been a leader in addressing the public health burden created by viral hepatitis. HEP is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization committed to providing support, education, advocacy, and direct services for people affected by hepatitis and to helping raise hepatitis awareness among patients, providers, and the public. HEP’s programs include Prevention and Outreach, Medical Case Management, Correctional Health, and Policy. Through these programs, HEP serves people at risk for or living with viral hepatitis, with a focus on communities that are disproportionately impacted by the diseases. These populations include people with low incomes; people who are uninsured or underinsured; people experiencing homelessness and/or housing instability; people who inject drugs; incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals; and immigrant and refugee communities. HEP’s goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with viral hepatitis. Specifically, we aim to improve the health of marginalized communities by providing low-barrier services that reduce the negative consequences associated with drug use, homelessness, and infectious diseases.

What do you plan to do at your booth in the NOhep Village:

We will present a reimagination of the hepatitis care continuum to improve health outcomes for people who use drugs (PWUD). Care continuums and cascades often focus on clinical indicators that overlook the holistic wellbeing of the person. We aim to expand hepatitis C care and treatment models to include other medical and social needs that are often missing from stepwise approaches to measuring care. Evidence shows that integrated and coordinated programs help reduce barriers in linkage to care and improve adherence to treatment. Taking this one step further by incorporating a comprehensive service model into viral hepatitis programs for PWUD and ensuring client centered care is truly at the core will help shape the programs and services offered, the partnerships and collaborators involved, and the modality of service delivered. We believe reimagining the care continuum can promote improved life stability, build trust and rapport, and ultimately better health outcomes.

What do you hope delegates will learn from your booth:

We hope to ignite discussions about comprehensive service models for viral hepatitis programs and break down silos between services needed and accessed by an individual. Our hope is to demonstrate the importance of developing integrated programs that focus on holistic wellbeing, and the need to incorporate and measure these milestones within the care continuum.

What will make your booth stand out:

We will present an array of services and programs HEP offers. By showcasing our Prevention and Outreach, Medical Case Management, Correctional Health and Policy programming, and providing a model that puts the client at the center of decision making, we aim to help other programs develop a similar approach relevant to their setting.

What are you most looking forward to about the Global Hepatitis Summit:

Meeting with other delegates and organizations from around the world and finding ways to learn from and collaborate with each other.

How will exhibiting in the NOhep Village benefit your organization:

The exhibition provides an exciting opportunity for HEP to showcase our work to new audiences and engage with potential collaborators and partners.

How have you worked with the scientific community in the past:

We have worked extensively with our state Department of Health, and County Public Health teams, as well as academic institutions, corporations, industry and foundations on viral hepatitis research and surveillance.

Find out more about HEP’s work by visiting their website or following them on Facebook and Twitter.