Interagency Implementation Progress Report: HHS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.
Dear Colleagues –

I am very pleased to share a new report that features 2012 highlights of federal efforts to implement the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.  Released in May 2011, the Action Plan details goals, strategies, and actions to be undertaken by federal agencies and offices from 2011-2013 to improve viral hepatitis prevention, care and treatment in the U.S.  The 2012 progress report describes key activities undertaken by programs that span the Operating and Staff Divisions across the Department of Health and Human Services as well as actions by our federal partners at the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration.

Compiled by the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP), the 2012 Interagency Implementation Progress Report also provides a sampling of federally-developed research articles and technical reports that were released in 2012. Finally, this report features a brief analysis of HBV and HCV testing activities taking place in federally funded programs. This compilation of testing data marks an initial effort to collect and analyze testing activities supported by federal agencies.

While the focus of this report is on federal activities, we recognize that there are many important, complementary activities underway at the community, state, tribal and local levels that are vital to achieving the goals of the Action Plan. We are grateful for your leadership and hope that this report may be of assistance to efforts underway in your organizations. Please feel free to share this report with your colleagues and networks so we can continue to increase awareness and understanding of this important health issue.

As you may know, the agencies and offices engaged in implementing the Action Plan are currently developing a three-year renewal of the plan that will articulate priorities and actions for 2014-2016. Renewing the Action Plan will sustain our momentum and enable us to strengthen our partnerships inside and outside of government.

We know that it will take new and expanded partnerships along with innovative approaches to meet the health needs of all individuals at risk for and living with viral hepatitis.  We are pleased to count you among our allies in this important work. Working together, we can truly become a nation committed to combating the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ronald O. Valdiserri
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases
Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

cc:  Corinna Dan, RN, MPH, Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor corinna.dan@hhs.gov

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