May is Hepatitis Awareness Month: ATTC Training Resources

May 14, 2014

Maureen Fitzgerald
Editor, ATTC Network Coordinating Office and NIATx

New medications now available and those coming to market for treatment of hepatitis C are the topic of this month’s (Thursday, May 15, 2014) Third Thursday iTraining: “Hepatitis C Treatment: What do I use?” Presenter Bruce Burkett, Executive Director and Founder of the HepC Alliance, will talk about the medications currently available, their success rates, and issues related to access to and cost of the medications.

The iTraining complements the feature article “Availability and Use of HCV Services in Substance Use Treatment Settings” in this month’s ATTC Messenger, written Meg Brunner, Librarian for the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Dissemination Library. Brunner shares the results of two health services research studies on the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These studies, conducted by the National Drug Abuse Treatment CTN, identified the need for the substance abuse treatment system to increase screening, counseling, and information services for patients with or at risk of contracting HCV.

To help meet that need, the National ATTC Viral Hepatitis Workgroup will soon be offering online and face-to-face options for training on HCV. The workgroup includes representatives from each of the 10 regional centers and is developing HCV training products specifically for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The courses target staff at FQHCs but are open to anyone interested in learning more about HCV prevention and treatment.
The first product is a 90-minute introductory online course that will be available in late summer 2014 on the ATTC HealthEKnowledge site. It consists of four modules covering: 1) populations at risk; 2) an introduction to the disease; 3) screening processes; and 4) treatment options. In addition, each regional ATTC is gathering region-specific HCV resources that will be incorporated into a Regional Resources section at the close of the course. The online course is expected to go live later this summer.

A second face-to-face training option, modeled on the online course, will offer more in-depth training on HCV. “It’s designed to build on the HealthEKnowledge course and targets behavioral health providers at FQHCs,” says curriculum developer Diana Padilla, Cultural Proficiency Program Manager for Training at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

"While the online course presents an overview of HCV, the face-to-face training will provide a more comprehensive review of the epidemiology of HCV and its impact on society, and risk groups,” says Padilla. “It will also promote screening and diagnostic testing and will discuss treatment options and linkage to HCV health care, which varies from region to region.”  The face-to-face training will include a section on telemedicine and telehealth options in rural and remote areas of the country. “We are planning to pilot a first draft of the training in July, with Training of the Trainer events to follow later for all the regional centers,” says Padilla.

Watch your email or check the ATTC website for more news about these new training resources from the National ATTC Viral Hepatitis Workgroup!

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