You are on page 1of 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Ryan Clary
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
202-407-2391
rclary@nvhr.org

Shelly Rodrigues, CAE, FACEHP


California Academy of Family Physicians
415-345-8667, ext 228
srodrigues@familydocs.org

In Honor of World Hepatitis Day Organizations in California Launch Campaign to Encourage


Primary Care Clinicians to Screen Patients for Hepatitis C
(San Francisco, CA, July 28, 2015) Today the California Academy of Family Physicians, California
Hepatitis Alliance (a program of Project Inform) and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable launch
the California Hepatitis C Clinicians Honor Roll campaign. The Honor Roll recognizes clinicians
who sign a pledge to screen their adult patients for hepatitis C in accordance with the United States
Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines. To view the USPSTF hepatitis C screening
guidelines, visit: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspshepc.htm
According to the California Department of Public Health, 750,000 Californians are living with
hepatitis C. Because this contagious liver disease often remains asymptomatic for years and many
providers and patients commonly overlook testing, the vast majority of individuals are unaware that
they are infected.
Karen Smith, MD, MPH, Director of the California Department of Public Health notes, The best tools
we have to reduce the human and economic costs of hepatitis C in California are to prevent new
infections, screen people at risk, and link those who are infected to care.
The USPSTF recommends hepatitis C screening for:

Adults born between 1945 through 1965


Anyone with past or current history of injecting drugs
Anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1992
Long-term hemodialysis patients
Anyone born to a mother infected with hepatitis C
Anyone with a history of incarceration
Anyone with past or current history of intranasal drug use (snorting drugs)

Anyone who has received a tattoo from an unregulated source


Anyone with other percutaneous exposures to blood

Hepatitis C is a devastating disease. Unfortunately, the majority of people with hepatitis C do not
even know they are infected, states Ron Chapman, MD, MPH, family physician and past director
and state health officer for the California Department of Public Health. Family doctors, primary care,
and other physicians and care team members have a critical role to play to identify these people and
save their lives.
Hepatitis C is the leading cause of catastrophic liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver
transplants, and hepatocellular carcinoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States. While
the virus remain undetected, causing potentially life-threatening liver damage, individuals can
unknowingly transmit the disease to others. California clinicians can stop this silent epidemic.
This Honor Roll campaign is conducted in partnership with the California Academy of Physician
Assistants Foundation, California Department of Public Health, California Medical Association
Foundation, Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations and San Francisco Medical Society.
For more information about the Honor Roll campaign, visithttp://www.familydocs.org/world-hepatitisc-day-july-28
###
The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) is the only organization solely dedicated to
advancing the specialty of family medicine in the state. Since 1948, CAFP has championed the
cause of family physicians and their patients. CAFP is critically important to primary care. With a
strong collective voice of more than 9,200 family physician, family medicine resident and medical
student members, the CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California and the largest
chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. We focus on family physicians professional
challenges and health policy concerns through advocacy and education to expand access to highquality and cost-effective patient care for California. We are committed to helping family physicians
improve their everyday practice lives by offering affordable evidence-based continuing medical
education, providing cost-saving practice management resources, delivering practical approaches to
practice transformation, and fostering opportunities to promote the family medicine specialty and

ensure a strong and healthy primary care pipeline. For more information about CAFP,
visit www.familydocs.org.
Founded in 2006, the California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHEP), a program of Project Inform
(www.projectinform.org), is an alliance of more than 100 organizations dedicated to reducing the
scope and consequences of the hepatitis B and C epidemics, which disproportionately affect
Californias ethnic communities and the socioeconomically underserved. CalHEP includes among its
membership public health organizations, community-based organizations, clinics and health care
agencies, county hepatitis task forces, and others committed to viral hepatitis prevention, care,
advocacy, and education. Committed to culturally competent public education and awareness,
CalHEPs work focuses on advocating for sound policies; promoting evidence-based education; and
broadening access to services. For more information about CalHEP, visitwww.calhep.org.
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is a broad coalition working to fight, and
ultimately end, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C epidemics. We seek an aggressive response from
policymakers, public health officials, medical and health care providers, the media, and the general
public through our advocacy, education, and technical assistance. NVHR believes an end to the
hepatitis B and C epidemics is within our reach and can be achieved through addressing stigma and
health disparities, removing barriers to prevention, care and treatment, and ensuring respect and
compassion for all affected communities. For more information about NVHR, visit www.nvhr.org.