Online Program

Hep B United: National coalition building for addressing Asian and Pacific Islander health disparities

Monday, November 4, 2013

C. a. Cohen, MPH, DrPH(c), Department of Public Health Research, Hepatitis B Foundation, Doylestown, PA
Joan Block, RN, BSN, Hepatitis B Foundation, Doylestown, PA
Isha Weerasinghe, MSc, Hepatitis B Policy, Association for Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Washington, DC
Melinda Martin, MPH, Association of Asian and Pacific Islander Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Oakland,, CA
Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
Background/Significance – Hepatitis B (HBV) is a life-threatening liver infection and leading cause of primary liver cancer, causing 1 million annual global deaths. In the US, HBV disproportionately affects Asian and Pacific Islanders (API), who have high rates of infection but low rates of awareness, diagnosis and vaccination. There are systemic, provider and individual barriers to adequately addressing chronic HBV infection in the US.

Objective/Purpose – To build a national multi-disciplinary coalition of committed organizations to address the gaps in HBV prevention and care. This is in direct response to the 2010 Institute of Medicine report and the 2011 HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, which highlight the steps necessary to effectively control HBV.

Methods – A steering committee was brought together, and organizations from around the U.S. were invited to join. Monthly calls, webinars and an in-person summit provided opportunities to strategize about coalition goals and activities. An asset and resource mapping was conducted to assess HBV-related activities nationwide. Based on these results, a 3-year action plan was developed.

Results – Hep B United currently consists of 14 community, nonprofit, corporate and federal organizations. Results of the asset/resource mapping indicate that while there is much ongoing activity regarding HBV awareness and screening, few efforts focus at the provider-level to improve screening behaviors, or are focused at reducing stigma. There is a lack of adult HBV vaccine initiatives, and limitations within the efforts directed at eliminating perinatal transmission.

Discussion/Conclusions – It is critical that we address the severity of HBV and liver cancer in API communities. Hep B United has identified current gaps and key priority areas for improving knowledge, screening, vaccination and linkage to care. The multi-disciplinary and collective nature of the coalition will help advance current recommendations to reduce the burden of major health disparities experienced by API communities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the health disparities associated with chronic HBV infection in the U.S. Evaluate the necessary steps to addressing hepatitis B at a national level, from a public health perspective

Keyword(s): Hepatitis B, Public/Private Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For 10 years, I have planned, implemented and evaluated community programs and research on hepatitis B and liver cancer. My research focuses on reducing HBV health disparities, and developing models for improved health care access and management for chronic HBV infection, including the early detection and prevention of liver cancer. I am director of Hep B United Philadelphia, a campaign and coalition to increase testing and vaccination to fight hepatitis B and liver cancer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.