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CDC awards a $1.375 million, five-year grant to the Hepatitis B Foundation for expansion of Hep B United, a nationwide coalition

Hep B United operates in 23 states, 30 cities and Washington, D.C.

Aug. 13, 2021 – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $1.375 million, five-year grant to the Hepatitis B Foundation to continue leading and expanding Hep B United, a nationwide coalition that operates in collaboration with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).

Hep B United is dedicated to reducing the health disparities associated with hepatitis B. With the new funding, the Foundation and AAPCHO will build the capacity of community coalitions to increase hepatitis B education and testing and improve linkage to care in a culturally and linguistically responsive manner for communities disparately impacted, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, African Immigrants and persons who inject drugs.

Hep B United is composed of 50 national organizations and local community coalitions in 22 states, 30 cities and Washington, D.C. It promotes cross-sector partnerships between community organizations, health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers, and has been building the capacity of multi-sectoral community coalitions to address hepatitis B in a nationally coordinated manner.

Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, senior vice president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and co-chair of Hep B United, said the CDC’s new grant validates the work that’s being done by the Foundation’s staff, the AAPCHO team and others who are part of Hep B United across the country.

“We appreciate the CDC’s continued support and commitment to eliminating hepatitis B and improving testing and linkage to care in highly impacted communities in the U.S.,” Dr. Cohen said. “The hundreds of partners who help to deliver hepatitis B-focused programs and initiatives clearly have benefited communities across the country and it’s gratifying that the CDC has recognized the successes of Hep B United over the past eight years.”

Through a health equity lens, the Hepatitis B Foundation will build and strengthen the HBU network and offer capacity building, training, technical assistance and networking. The project also includes continued partnership in the development and dissemination of the Know Hepatitis B campaign, a national multi-lingual campaign led by CDC and co-branded with Hep B United.

Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, co-chair and co-founder of Hep B United and executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), noted that the new grant will permit Hep B United to expand its work with African immigrant and Pacific Islander communities, along with minority-serving Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

“We are excited about the opportunity to increase our capacity to reach underserved populations nationwide while continuing to work alongside the community and our partners since we started in 2012,” Caballero said. “One of our key new initiatives will be growing a Hepatitis B Community Health Center Learning Collaborative to foster partnerships with a new cohort of FQHCs to implement hepatitis B education, screening and linkage to care programs.”

The Foundation’s program strategies will include monthly coalition calls and webinars; mini-grants to support hepatitis awareness, education, testing and linkage to care; peer mentoring to foster the development of local and/or state hepatitis community coalitions and address specific capacity building needs; and the Hepatitis B Public Health Education Program, which utilizes the ECHO tele-education platform to train health educators and community leaders in an effort to improve hepatitis prevention and control strategies. Since 2012, Hep B United has awarded 28 mini-grants totaling $411,000 to partners in 17 states.

The CDC grant also will support maintaining the Hep B United Community Coalition Leadership Development Program to focus on improving the capacity of individual local community leaders to lead and grow community-based hepatitis coalitions; and expanding the Hep B United Pacific Islander Community and Harm Reduction Strategy Workgroups to address the high rates of chronic hepatitis B among Pacific Islander communities and people who inject drugs, respectively.

Hep B United’s National Advisory Committee members are: 

  • Oakland, Calif., Jeffrey Caballero, MPH, co-chair and co-founder, executive director, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).
  • Doylestown, Pa., Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, co-chair, senior V.P., Hepatitis B Foundation.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, Thaddeus Pham, co-director, Hep Free Hawaii, and viral hepatitis prevention coordinator, Hawaii Department of Health.
  • Northern Virginia, Amy Trang, PhD, MEd, administrator, National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian & Pacific Islander Americans; founder and CEO, Social Capital Solutions Inc.
  • Berkeley, Calif., Carol Brosgart, MD, consultant, Biotechnology, Public Health and Public Policy.
  • Doylestown, Pa., Joan M. Block, RN, BSN, co-founder/co-chair emeritus and senior advisor.

There is information about our local partners here on the Foundation website, including a list of partners and links to their websites. For more information, please send a note to info@hepb.org.