Hepatitis Awareness Initiative
In 2015-2016, the NHIT Collaborative partnered with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center to increase hepatitis awareness among the African-American, African, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American communities. To achieve this purpose, the NHIT Collaborative carried out four key tasks over a one-year period; these tasks were:
- developing educational materials;
- disseminating information; and
- engaging key individuals in participatory dialogue regarding hepatitis, its impact on the target communities, and strategies to ameliorate such impact.
FACT SHEETS (These fact sheets were created with funds from the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.)
The accomplishments related to each of the tasks are summarized below.
- The NHIT Collaborative collaborated with subject matter experts to modify available culturally- and linguistically-appropriate educational material for underserved communities.
- To develop the informational materials – which comprised a two-page fact sheet for each population of focus, the NHIT Collaborative partnered with the Georgetown University Medical Center Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in early 2016. From that point through the course of the project six faculty members voluntarily participated in carrying out background research for and developing the fact sheets. An important attribute of the flyers was that they were developed to be:
- Culturally appropriate; and
- At a reading level that would help to ensure that the information is accessible broadly to the population of focus
- Drafts of the flyers were prepared prior to the Hepatitis Awareness Roundtable (see images, below.) They were revised based on reviews by additional experts and updated available information. An example of the process for the review by the populations of focus is the involvement of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB), which has a hepatitis initiative.
- The NHIT Collaborative, in collaboration with the HHS OMH – Resource Center and Georgetown University, convened a Hepatitis Awareness Initiative Roundtable on May 10, 2016. This event offered an opportunity to share pertinent information about hepatitis, and engage consumers and other interested parties. In addition, the event helped to garner support and awareness from 35 key stakeholders focused in underserved communities.
- The Roundtable, held at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), was designed to draw attention to health disparities in viral hepatitis—specifically hepatitis B and C infections—and highlight the need for further research, education, and outreach to address these important public health issues.
- Also as a key part of National Health IT Week, the NHIT Collaborative, in collaboration with The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) and Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, hosted a webinar on strategies for engaging underserved communities in discussions around hepatitis: "Hepatitis in Communities of Color: Strategies and Best Practices to Engage Consumers in Underserved Communities" on September 29, 2016.
- The one-hour webinar, in which 152 individuals participated and 309 registered, served to bring together leaders in federal, private, and communities to discuss best practices in engaging and educating African-American, African, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native communities about hepatitis. The speakers represented academic and community-based organizations: Georgetown University, the National Hispanic and Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, Project ECHO (affiliated with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine), and Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).
The NHIT Collaborative will conduct an effective social media outreach effort. This effort will also serve to facilitate information sharing, interactive communication, and public engagement.
If you are interested in learning more, or would like to contribute to this initiative, please contact Luis Belen at LBelen@NHITC.org.