SPRINGFIELD, MO (KY3) – Missouri health leaders release first Hepatitis C Elimination Programshow me treatment.
Leaders hope it will improve access to equitable testing and patient-centred treatment services to combat the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), HIV, STD and Hepatitis are working to eliminate hepatitis C in Missouri by ensuring universal testing, improving health care outcomes for people living with hepatitis C, and preventing new infections.
Hepatitis C virus is one of the most important health problems affecting the liver. More than half of people diagnosed with HCV will develop a chronic infection, while the other half may experience an acute infection that clears spontaneously.
“With an estimated 2.4 million Americans living with hepatitis C, it’s important that Missourians have access to testing and treatment services,” said DHSS Acting Director Paula Nickelson. “With the launch of the Missouri Hepatitis C Elimination Program Committee and the Show Me Cure Program, DHSS can provide the resources and tools Missouri needs to better understand hepatitis C. We will use this program to increase prevention, Policy development and advocacy for testing and treatment services.”
The Show Me the Cure program focuses on access to services, provider development, education, collaboration and awareness, monitoring, and policy and advocacy.
“The Missouri Hepatitis C Program provides a roadmap for the state’s efforts to eliminate hepatitis C. The program was developed in collaboration with various partners from across the state and is critical to ensuring that the needs of Missourians are addressed in the program Important,” said Alicia Jenkins, director of DHSS HIV, STD and Hepatitis.
The Ozarks’ AIDS program is another local partner that helped make the program possible.
· Increase the proportion of people who are tested and know their hepatitis C status.
· Establish contacts for confirmatory testing and treatment.
· Increase the number of healthcare providers trained to identify, diagnose and treat patients with hepatitis C.
Education, Collaboration and Awareness
· Raise awareness of the detection and treatment of hepatitis C patients.
· Educate Missourians about hepatitis C health equity, stigma, and cultural humility.
· Assess the current hepatitis C surveillance system.
· Improve the quality and completeness of hepatitis C data, including improved reporting of demographic and risk factor data.
· Regularly analyze, disseminate survey results and use hepatitis C data to develop and improve testing and linkage to care plans.
· Identify data sources and collaborate with other organizations to compile information on the HCV population.
Policy and Advocacy
· Raise awareness of patient services and increase advocacy opportunities.
· Raise awareness of policies and laws that impede hepatitis C testing and treatment.
· Encourage and promote universal screening for hepatitis C in primary care and other settings serving high-risk populations.
This plan was developed in partnership with MO HealthNet, Missouri Department of Corrections, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Hep C Alliance, Missouri Telehealth Network and Show-Me ECHO, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, St. Louis City Department of Health, Oza KC’s AIDS Project, Missouri Primary Care Association, Swope Health, University of Washington – Project ARK, KC Health Care Center, Clay County Public Health Center, CoxHealth, Missouri Rural Health Association, and AbbVie.
“Show Treatment Options” and more information about Hepatitis C can be found by Health.Mo.Gov/MoHepC.
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