White House notes hepatitis C efforts
The Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH), a part of UT Health San Antonio, was recognized by the White House at its 2016 National Hepatitis Testing Day observance in Washington, D.C. The White House acknowledged the ReACH Center’s initiatives to screen, evaluate and cure chronic hepatitis C virus infection in diverse health care settings serving low-income populations across South Texas.
The Viral Hepatitis Testing Recognition Award, given by the Department of Health and Human Services, recognizes four ReACH projects that have been conducted since 2012 with funding from multiple federal and state agencies. These projects follow the new national guidelines to test everyone in the U.S. who was born from 1945 through 1965—the baby boomers—for hepatitis C.
“Without treatment, the disease may cause liver scarring and failure and, in some cases, liver cancer,” said Barbara J. Turner, M.D., MSED, MACP, director of the ReACH Center. “In fact, hepatitis C infection is the most common reason for liver transplantation for end-stage liver disease in the U.S., and it is also the main reason that people get liver cancer. Deaths from liver cancer are rapidly increasing in the U.S.”