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Hepatitis B Foundation launches continuing education series on hepatitis B for health care providers and public health professionals

Doylestown, Pa., Feb. 5, 2021 – The Hepatitis B Foundation has launched Hep B Project ECHO Philadelphia, a continuing education series for health care providers and public health professionals using the ECHO Model™ to deliver educational content about hepatitis B to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, public health coordinators and other health care professionals.

ECHO is a highly effective and nationally recognized approach that was developed initially at the University of New Mexico to expand primary care provider capacity to treat and manage hepatitis C in rural communities. The goal of Project ECHO is to enhance the education of primary care providers by linking them with teams of expert specialists. It employs adult-learning techniques and interactive videos.

“This is a substantial step forward for the Hepatitis B Foundation’s programs to provide physicians and other professionals with the learning experiences they needed to provide the best possible care and support to people living with hepatitis B,” Catherine Freeland, MPH, program lead and public health program director of the Hepatitis B Foundation, said. “What makes Project ECHO so valuable is the case-based learning experience, which will help providers become empowered in treating patients with hepatitis B in a primary care setting.”

The Foundation’s first webinar was held on Jan. 28 and had 45 participants. Future sessions this year will be held on the fourth Thursday of every month. Each webinar, which will start at 12 p.m. Eastern time, will be run by two or more expert physicians and include a 15-minute didactic training on hepatitis B. Didactic subjects will include testing for the hepatitis B virus (HBV), treating HBV, vaccination and prevention, HBV co-infection, acute versus chronic HBV and screening for liver cancer, which is an all-too-common result of chronic HBV that is poorly managed.

Hep B Project ECHO Philadelphia is approved for continuing medical education credit for physicians and nurses and for pharmacists in the next few months. More information and registration access is posted here.

The co-sponsors of Hep B Project ECHO Philadelphia are the National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Hep B United Philadelphia and the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has provided a $25,000 grant to support the program.