Hep B United Issues Recommendations on HHS Action Plan
August 12, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Archive] Isha Weerasinghe
Director of Policy and Advocacy
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2014 – Hep B United, a national coalition to address and eliminate hepatitis B, today released a blueprint report entitled, Opportunities for Federal-Community Collaboration to Reduce Disparities in Hepatitis B: 2014-2016. The report highlights recommendations on how local coalitions and federal agencies can collaborate to further the goals identified in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, Updated 2014-2016.
Recommendations in the report include connecting HHS agencies with Hep B United coalition partners who possess culturally specific and linguistically appropriate expertise to help bolster hepatitis B programs, and asking HHS agencies to use data collection and patient management tools proven by coalition members to be effective in addressing at-risk immigrant communities.
“We are excited to release this new framework to help combat this silent killer disproportionately impacting AAPI communities,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and co-chair of Hep B United. “HHS agencies, Hep B United members, and other partners can use this document as a foundation from which to advocate hepatitis B policy priorities. We can only move forward to eliminate hepatitis B if we are aligned in our strategies, in government and community.”
Chronic hepatitis B affects about 2 million Americans, and more than half are AAPIs. In addition, the disease is often overlooked and under-diagnosed. This new blueprint report builds off of the recommendations outlined in Hep B United’s first report entitled, Understanding and Addressing the Public Health Challenge of Hepatitis B: Key Issues and Recommendations, released in response to the first iteration of the HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan in 2011. The publication of these documents, on both the government and community level, demonstrates united progress in addressing and eliminating hepatitis B across the nation.
“The opportunities for collaboration put forth in the new Hep B United report will help improve coordination of hepatitis B activities across HHS, with state and local partners to increase prevention, screening and linkage to care, since our collective goal is to eliminate hepatitis B once and for all,” Joan Block, executive director of the Hepatitis B Foundation and co-chair of Hep B United stated.
About Hep B United
Hep B United is a national coalition to address the public health challenge of hepatitis B. The goal of Hep B United is to support local community coalition efforts across the U.S. to increase hepatitis B awareness, screening, vaccination and linkage to care for all Americans, but in particular, for high-risk Asian American and Pacific Islander populations who are disproportionately impacted. For more information on Hep B United, please visit http://hepbunited.org. To learn more about their partner coalitions, please visit http://hepbunited.org/local-campaigns.