New Initative Aims to Increase Hepatitis-C Care in Rural Areas

Apr 12, 2016

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West Virginia health and research organizations have partnered to increase access to specialty treatment for Hepatitis-C in rural and underserved areas through telemedicine. A kickoff event for the project will be held today at The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Morgantown.

The idea behind the project – named ECHO, or Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes – is to increase patients' access to specialists without having to physically leave their local communities.  It is a national model.

Through video-conferencing, specialists at academic institutions will work with primary care providers in rural areas to help care for patients with Hepatitis-C.  This will be the first ECHO project on Hepatitis-C in West Virginia. The new West Virginia Project ECHO is partnering with Cabin Creek Health Systems and other rural clinics throughout the state.

A Tuesday kickoff event at the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Morgantown will include speakers and a short presentation about the new initiative.

The project is slated to begin April 26th.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.