The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has been actively engaged in hepatitis surveillance, prevention and control for over a decade; however, 2013 marked a year of heightened focus and commitment for the Department.
Significant advancements in the Hepatitis C (HCV) medical field were followed by new screening recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012 and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force in 2013, as well as new treatment recommendations from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updated its 2011 Viral Hepatitis Action Plan outlining health departments’ roles in combating the viral hepatitis epidemic. In response to the improvements in medical management opportunities, as well as increased resources and national focus, the Health Department developed a strategy to combat hepatitis C in NYC, and implemented a number of hepatitis C- related public health initiatives.
The Hepatitis C Strategic Plan was spearheaded by the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control. A wide cross-section of bureaus and programs contributed to the plan, ensuring an integrated planning approach:
- Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD)
- Bureau of Immunization (BOI)
- Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (BHIV)
- Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (BSTD)
- Bureau of Correctional Health Services (CHS)
- Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment (BADUPCT)
- Bureau of Primary Care Information Project (PCIP)
- Program Collaboration and Service Integration Unit