Division of Liver Diseases, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, United States. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Many foreign-born persons in the US are at high risk of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) infections, yet are not aware of their infection, and lack healthcare coverage or linkage to care.
A unique partnership, the Hepatitis Outreach Network, combines the expertise and resources of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and community-based organizations, to provide education, screening and link to care in communities with high prevalence of chronic viral hepatitis. Comprehensive HBV and HCV screening identifies infected patients, who then receive further evaluation from either local or Mount Sinai physicians, combined with patient-navigators who organize follow-up visits.
Of 1603 persons screened, 76 had HBV and 75 had HCV. Importantly, screening for HCV based on traditional risk factors would have missed 67% of those who tested positive. Of the 76 persons with HCV infection, 49 (64%) received a medical evaluation (26 with local providers and 23 at Mount Sinai). Of the 49 HCV-infected persons evaluated, treatment was recommended in 11 and begun in 8 (73%). Of the 76 persons with HBV infection, 43 (57%) received a medical evaluation (31 with local providers and 12 at Mount Sinai). Of the 43 HBV-infected persons evaluated, treatment was recommended and begun in 5 (100%).
Hepatitis Outreach Network has successfully established novel proof of concept for identifying HBV and HCV infections in foreign-born persons through use of several unique elements that effectively link them to care.