Hep Free NYC Advocacy Committee – Quarterly Meeting

Via Zoom webinar – March 10, 2021 (3 – 5 PM)


Committee Goals: Review current Hep B and C Advocacy initiatives, plan for Hep Free NYC partner involvement, and work on strategies to move towards elimination of viral hepatitis.


Meeting Notes

New York City

  • NY City Council Viral Hepatitis Initiative – Planning for FY22 budget season
    • Baselining funds – need visits, calls, and emails with city council members to advocate for stable funding for the Viral Hepatitis Initiative
    • Specifically mention “Viral Hepatitis Initiative” and:
    • Describe your program and populations you serve
    • Make budget request and ask that City Council cover the Article 6 match shortfall as in past years
    • Planning to submit unified budget request to Council
  •  Opportunity to Testify at the NYC Council Health Committee Hearing on March 15
  • Planning for Hepatitis Awareness Month – Contact Sarah Ahmed (sahmed10@health.nyc.gov) to attend upcoming planning call
  • NYC Elimination Planning
    • NYC Health Department drafting NYC Hep B and C Elimination Plan
    • Will share with community for feedback

New York State

  • NYS Hep C Elimination Campaign
    • Timeline released: www.hcvdashboardny.org
    • NYS Elimination Plan has still not been released by the Governor’s office
  • 340B Program is under threat, supports many hepatitis programs in NYC
    • 340B Federal drug discount program funds community health centers and other safety net providers to serve specific populations, neighborhoods, and others that have healthcare needs not being otherwise addressed due to disparities, language barriers, etc
    • With 340B, savings from discounted price and index price are used to improve care
    • Without 340B funding, organizations will see defaults. Possible 50 clinic closures in NYS. 700,000 healthcare jobs to be lost because of this
  • Join the Save NY Safety Net Coalition: www.savenysafetynet.com
  • Community sign-on letter to permit pharmacists to administer Hep A+B vaccines being promoted by Assembly member Glick
    • Pharmacist group wants all the adult vaccines to be approved not just Hep A+B vaccines
    • Not the mechanism to get all vaccinated but would help to get PWID, the unhoused or others at high risk vaccinated and would be a good strategy for peers and outreach workers (e.g. to walk client to a local pharmacy)


  • CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis flat funded at $39M, plus $10M (community asked for $15M) for SAMHSA ($13M) for opioid epidemic
  • Treatment Action Group (TAG) is organizing meetings on the Hill right now to advocate for increased SAMHSA funding
  • National Strategic Plan on Viral Hepatitis was released (2020 – 2025)
    • In Q3 or Q4 2021 a costing estimate will be conducted to determine cost of implementing the strategic plan
  • TAG, working with NVHR, launching new campaign: “#WorthTheCure”
    • Seeking to remove ban federal funding for syringes, prior authorizations for DAAs, sobriety requirements and waiver system for MAT/MOUD o Contact Annette (annette.gaudino@treatmentactiongroup.org)

Opportunities to Get Involved


Next Meeting

  • Save the date for the next meeting: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, @ 3-5pm



1. Farah Riazi, Outreach Coordinator, Mount Sinai Health System, farahriazi@hotmail.com

2. Joy Cambe, Program Coordinator, Empire Liver Foundation, joycambe@empireliverfoundation.org

3. Reed Vreeland, Housing Works, r.vreeland@housingworks.org

4. Sarah Ahmed, Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, sahmed10@health.nyc.gov

5. John J. Spellman, Executive Therapeutic Specialist, Gilead Science, john.spellman4@gilead.com

6. Joshua Lunior, NYC Health + Hospitals – Kings County Hospital Center, joshua.lunior@gmail.com

7. Nirah Johnson, Capacity Building Director, Viral Hepatitis Program NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, njohnso2@health.nyc.gov

8. Marie Bresnahan, Director of Training, Policy and Administration, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, mbresnahan@health.nyc.gov

9. Hannah Wade, Government Affairs, NYU Langone Health System, hannah.wade@nyulangone.org

10. Y-Uyen Le Nguyen, Hep B Medical Director, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, ynguyen@cbwchc.org

11. Jose Martinez, Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction Associate, New York Harm Reduction Coalition, martinez@harmreduction.org

12. Mike Selick, Hepatitis C Training and Policy Manager, New York Harm Reduction Coalition, selick@harmreduction.org

13. Grace Kim, Health Educator, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, gkim@health.nyc.gov

14. Megan Haseltine, New York University (NYU) – School of Medicine, megan.haseltine@nyulangone.org

15. Marc Badura, Operations Manager, Research Foundation of SUNY, mbadura@buffalo.edu

16. Warren Hall, American Liver Foundation, whall@liverfoundation.org

17. Sarah Usher, HCV Coordinator, Sun River Health, susher@sunriver.org

18. Donette Perkins, Advocacy Coordinator, BOOM!Health, dperkins@boomhealth.org

19. Annette Gaudino, Treatment Action Group, annette.gaudino@treatmentactiongroup.org

20. Kiara Lora, Director of HCV Treatment Network, Montefiore Medical Center, kialora@montefiore.org

21. Lia Alleyne, Health Educator, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, lalleyne@health.nyc.gov

22. Paul Lee, Project Coordinator, Korean Community Services, plee@kcsny.org

23. Jane Wong, Hepatitis B Project Coordinator, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, janwong@cbwchc.org

24. Meg Chappell, Program Manager, Empire Liver Foundation, megchappell@empireliverfoundation.org

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