HCV Elimination in a Health Network Serving Indigenous Communities in Northern California
This month we are launching a new series in Clinical Liver Disease: "Innovations in Hepatitis Elimination," in honor of World Hepatitis Day. The first article, "HCV Elimination in a Health Network Serving Indigenous Communities in Northern California" will be released on July 21st. For each article, we will host a virtual interview with the author to hear more about their work and how their findings can be translated to other elimination programs. Join us on July 22nd for the kick-off of this author interview series with Dr. Kathleen Cassel, an author of this first article, as she describes how Project ECHO is enabling HCV micro-elimination in 7 indigenous communities in Northern California.
Questions and Answers from Author Interview:
Q: Given that this is a tribal community, how did you deal with the stigma? How did you get
people to step up to get treatment?
A: I didn't have many clients express a fear of stigma as an impedement to treatment. Possibly the high prevalence in our community normalized hepatitis C for people.
Q: Are most of your Boomers treated, and newer patients are mostly younger? What
proportion need substance use support and how do you address it?
A: Most of our boomers are treated, though we are still finding new cases as boomers are screened. We started a suboxone clinic to support HCV treatment and addictions treatment in the same setting. We have connections to the local rehab facility so that clients with HCV who enter addiction treatment can be connected to HCV treatment.