In honor of Hepatitis Awareness Month, NASTAD released three new success stories featuring health department responses to the hepatitis A outbreak and highlighting the work that has taken place in Indiana, Michigan, and Utah. The Success Stories highlight the need for multi-stakeholder engagement and working with partners such as syringe service providers, community-based organizations, and harm reduction programs as well as leveraging existing health department programs and field service staff:
- The Role of DIS in Reaching the Population Most Affected by Indiana’s Hepatitis A Outbreak: Since November 2017, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has been investigating an outbreak of acute hepatitis A virus (HAV) that has included more than 1,100 cases and four deaths. ISDH disease intervention specialists (DIS) have been critical in supporting the response, from conducting outreach in communities most impacted, such as people experiencing homelessness, to providing education, vaccination, and testing in key settings such as jails.
- Cross-cutting and Multi-stakeholder Response to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in Michigan: In late August 2016, Michigan saw an increase in hepatitis A cases resulting in an outbreak that continues in 2019. MDHHS launched a multi-agency, cross-cutting approach to control the outbreak. Partners included the state’s 45 local health departments, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Corrections, behavioral health organizations, pharmacies, hospitals, eight regional healthcare coalitions, AIDS service organizations, LGBTQ organizations, homeless shelters, federally qualified health centers, and primary care practitioners.
- Leveraging Partnerships to Respond to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in Utah: Between May 2017 and November 2018, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) responded to an outbreak of hepatitis A among people experiencing homelessness and persons who use drugs, resulting in 281 hepatitis A cases. UDOH worked closely with affected local health departments and community partners to increase vaccination in communities most at risk, including offering vaccination in jails, emergency departments, syringe service programs, substance use treatment facilities, and homeless shelters.