Hepatitis Education Project Programs
Free Testing & Vaccination
HEP conducts both on-site and off-site hepatitis C antibody testing and hepatitis A&B vaccinations. Testing is done at the HEP office, chemical dependency centers, needle exchanges, community health fairs, and drop in centers for homeless youth and young adults. With the help of staff and volunteer nurses, HEP has tested over 800 individuals for hepatitis C and has completed vaccinations for over 200 individuals for hepatitis A and B.
Youth Prevention Program
HEP’s Youth Prevention Program focuses on educating young adults about the risks of transmitting hepatitis C. HEP teaches these health education classes in a variety of settings, including youth shelters, local high schools, and care centers, and provides youth with knowledge needed to make informed decisions. The curriculum used to teach hepatitis prevention has been developed to engage the youth – using a combination of interactive games, videos, and hands-on activities. The Youth Prevention Program aims to decrease the ambiguity and ignorance surrounding viral hepatitis and hopes to empower the young adult community to disengage in risky behavior.
Department of Corrections Health Education Program
Since 2004, HEP has contracted with the Washington State Department of Corrections to deliver hepatitis and blood-borne infections classes to offenders at all 13 prisons and work camps in Washington State. This program aims to improve awareness amongst offenders and to provide support to them upon release.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
HEP has been successful in advocating at the State and federal level on behalf of hepatitis patients. As a result of our efforts at the State level, Washington is one of only a few States that has state funding dedicated exclusively to chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C. At the federal level, we continue to work closely with the Congress and recently worked with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to introduce the Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2011.
HEP currently is looking for additional funding to support the Hepatitis C Medical Case Manager Program. We have hired a new staff person to work with hepatitis patients who are uninsured, under-insured or marginally connected to the health care system. These patients currently have very few resources to access appropriate medical care and ancillary social services. While the medical case manager will provide linkage to medical care, there is not enough capacity to also help with linkage to social services. Having access to social services (such as housing, transportation, and job placement), also plays a crucial role in patients' ability to adhere to treatment. HEP would like to hire an additional staff member to aid in linking patients with these social services.