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HEP is Celebrating 20 Years! Please Join Us Friday, September 6

Please join us in celebrating the Hepatitis Education Project's 20th Anniversary the evening of Friday, September 6th in Seattle. We're having our birthday party at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Pier 66 and we want you to come!  Featured during the evening will be a performance by jazz artist Kathy Kosins, a silent auction, and a look back at HEP's impact in the community over the years. Dinner will be provided.

Please RSVP by Monday, September 2.  Contact Chelsie Porter at 206-732-0311 or chelsie@hepeducation.org to RSVP or with any questions.

We can't wait to see you there!

HEP is Seeking Hepatitis Support Group Leaders

The Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) began as a support group 20 years ago. HEP is now a national leader in hepatitis policy, advocacy, education and outreach. But our foundation has always been patient support.  On Thursday, October 24th, we will be holding a regional support group leader training for the Pacific Northwest from 5-9pm in downtown Seattle.   Ronni Marks, a hep C patient and advocate, and the Executive Director of Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group, Inc. will facilitate this training.

No experience is necessary. Potential support group facilitators include people who are current or former hepatitis patients, friends or family of patients, or otherwise have an interest in helping people who are living with hepatitis.  This opportunity is open to anyone interested in facilitating a support group for hepatitis patients in the Pacific Northwest region.

If you’re interested in starting a hepatitis support group in your area, or if you know someone who is, please contact Rich Feffer by Friday, September 20th by emailing rich@hepeducation.org or calling 206-732-0311.

Bringing Awareness to Seattle

In recognition of World Hepatitis Day, the Hepatitis Education Project and the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington (HBCW), a program of WithinReach, partnered for an event to raise awareness of viral hepatitis. The event was held on July 28 in Seattle’s International District at Hing Hay Park and included performances by Northwest Kung Fu and Fitness and Mak Fai Washington Kung Fu Club.  We even made a Guinness World Record attempt for the second year in a row (We are still waiting on pins and needles to see if we beat the record set last year!). Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, performers, the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities, and DGreer Photography!

Some of the fantastic martial arts demonstrations!

Thank you Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington for partnering with us to make this happen.

The traditional lion dancing was such a treat for the crowd.

Team HBV from UW was there too!

Go Back to School with HEP’s Youth Outreach Program

Some exciting changes are happening with HEP’s youth outreach this summer.  For the past 3 years, our AmeriCorps volunteers have been teaching hepatitis 101 in Seattle area high schools, homeless youth drop-in centers, alternative and transitional living homes and in juvenile detention.  This summer, new games and activities have been added to promote harm reduction and reduce stigma.  Lee McKoin, the AmeriCorps VISTA currently working on this program, is now bringing the workshops to youth serving organizations in the area such as Friends of Youth and ROOTS Young Adult Shelter.  “The first step in this work is getting young people talking about hepatitis, noticing its often silent impact, but when they get it they are passionate and energetic to do something about it for themselves.  It’s exciting to think we may just have a generation that not only knows accurate things about hepatitis but uses that knowledge to reduce stigma around it, ” says Lee. 

To continue to grow the program, HEP is now training staff at other youth serving organizations to lead these classes.  With more service providers using the curriculum and teaching tools that HEP has developed, we can reach more young people.  If your organization serves young people, we would be happy to bring this interactive workshop to your youth or staff members.  For more information about our youth outreach program, please contact Lee at 206-732-0311.

Hepatitis C Treatment Updates

This is an incredibly exciting time in drug development for hepatitis C.  The first interferon-free treatments for genotypes 2 and 3 are going to be considered for approval by FDA later this year. There are nine new drugs for HCV in the last phase of clinical trials. Cure rates in clinical trials are approaching 100%.

We will continue to keep you apprised of the latest breakthroughs in treatment for hepatitis C. In the meantime, you can click here to view the "HCV Pipeline Blog" from Alan Franciscus at the HCV Advocate. Alan is a long-time advocate and runs one of the best resources for hepatitis to be found in any medium, the aforementioned hcvadvocate.org.