New NASTAD Success Stories: State Efforts to Link and Navigate People Living with HCV to Cure

NASTAD released two new installments of its Success Stories, which highlight linkage and navigation programs in North Carolina and Tennessee. Historically, hepatitis programs have only been able to support clients through provider referrals following a positive test result. With the availability of direct acting antivirals (DAAs) that effectively cure HCV, more programs are supporting linkage to care, navigation, and care coordination to help move people across the HCV continuum.

  1. Leveraging Bridge Counselors to Develop a Hepatitis C Care Cascade in North Carolina  As the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) increased the availability of free risk-based HCV testing throughout the state to all local health departments and access to HCV treatment increased through the North Carolina Academic Mentorship Program (CHAMP), patient support was identified as a significant gap in care. The viral hepatitis program created a bridge counselor position to help guide people living with HCV through care to cure and help address the barriers that exist across the continuum.
  2. Navigating to Cure: Tennessee’s Viral Hepatitis Case Navigator Program – The Tennessee Department of Health (TNDH) created the Viral Hepatitis Case Navigator program in July 2017, hiring 12 nurse navigators to cover all 13 public health regions to address the rising rates of HCV in the state and address the multitude of barriers to accessing care that people face. The Viral Hepatitis Case Navigators provide navigation to HCV care and treatment services, as well as other supportive services, including mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and insurance enrollment.

For more information about these programs, please contact hepatitis@nastad.org.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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