Hep Free NYC Research Committee Meeting Highlights

May 6, 2020 (3 – 5 PM)

In attendance: see below notes.

The goal of the Hep Free NYC Research committee is to create a network and foster collaboration among NYC hepatitis focused researchers.

Committee Chairs: Ben Eckhardt, MD, NYU and Bellevue -Benjamin.Eckhardt@nyulangone.org    and Shashi Kapadia, MD, Cornell – shk9078@med.cornell.edu

Meeting Notes 

Impact of COVID19 on hepatitis research – reported by meeting participants:

  • Non-critical clinical research currently on hold
  • Observed decreased access to harm reduction resources: Concerns about traveling for services, some harm reduction programs shut down for a period of time, increase in sharing supplies and public injection reported
  • Changing patterns of substance use treatment access: more flexible take-home supply from some methadone practices, more telemedicine for buprenorphine management

Telehealth capacity building in response to COVID

  • Limitations include the need for labs, privacy concerns, and tech, computer literacy, language and age-related access disparities
  • Proposed interventions to support implementation include giving out smartphones, using medical students to engage patients over the phone, forgoing week 4 labs for patients on hepatitis C treatment
  • Do not fully understand which populations benefit from access to telehealth (or what populations may not benefit/could be harmed by having services delivered via this modality — including homeless, immigrants with language/translation needs, older people)

Research Opportunity

  • It may be an opportunity to collect data and report on hepatitis specific telehealth implementation experience across programs/institutions.
  • Consider: Participatory Action Research approach and/or Health Dept survey.

Telehealth Practice Implementation Support

Drug Policy Alliance is supporting Rapid Response Research for Policy Change in the COVID-19 era.

  • The Department of Research and Academic Engagement and the Drug Policy Alliance would like to facilitate collaboration between interdisciplinary researchers and people who use drugs in order to measure and evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 and related policy responses.
  • Learn more and express interest here. Contact: Sheila Vakharia svakharia@drugpolicy.org

NYC Viral Hep Elimination planning

  • Please review and provide feedback on the draft status report mapping out where NYC falls on the WHO Viral Hepatitis Elimination plan – by May 29th.

In attendance (will develop a directory with committee member bios before next meeting):

  1. Andrew Talal, MD, SUNY Research Foundation – ahtalal@buffalo.edu
  2. Angelica Bocour, MPH, Health Department – abocour@health.nyc.gov
  3. Ann Winters, MD,  Health Department – awinters@health.nyc.gov
  4. Benjamin Eckhardt, MD, NYU and Bellevue -Benjamin.Eckhardt@nyulangone.org
  5. Brianna Norton, MD, Montefiore – bnorton@montefiore.org
  6. Jeff Weiss, PhD, Mount Sinai – Jeffrey.Weiss@mountsinai.org
  7. Jessie Schwartz, RN, MPH, Health Department – jschwartz2@health.nyc.gov
  8. Justin Chan, MD, H+H Correctional Health – chanj15@nychhc.org
  9. Lina Cherfas, MS, Evaluation Consultant – lina@agoodquestion.net
  10. Matt Akiyama, MD, MSc, Montefiore – makiyama@montefiore.org
  11. Marc Badura MS, CCRP, SUNY Research Foundation – mbadura@buffalo.edu
  12. Nirah Johnson, LCSW, Health Department – njohnso2@health.nyc.gov
  13. Olorunseun Ogunwobi, MD, PhD, CUNY Center for Health Disparity  Research  Ogunwobi@GENECTR.HUNTER.CUNY.EDU
  14. Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, PhD, CUNY – pedro.mateu-gelabert@sph.cuny.edu
  15. Shashi N Kapadia, MD, Cornell – shk9078@med.cornell.edu
  16. Sheila Vakharia, PhD, LMSW, Drug Policy Alliance – svakharia@drugpolicy.org
  17. Victoria Foster, MPH, NYU – Victoria.Foster@nyulangone.org



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