December 9, 2013
Media Contact: Rebecca Devine, Maven Communications
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Grant ramps up National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC)'s campaign to combat Hepatitis C in Philadelphia's most vulnerable communities

PHILADELPHIA, PA –Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities, through its affiliate National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC), has been awarded a second year of grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue its comprehensive hepatitis C screening program across the PHMC health network. NNCC is one of seven grantees nationally and the only organization locally to receive CDC funding to conduct hepatitis C testing in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) setting.

This year's $200,000 grant will enable PHMC to conduct 2,000 additional screenings among Philadelphia's most vulnerable populations in their five nurse-managed FQHCs, bringing the total number of hepatitis C tests to 4,000 by September 2014. The program was originally launched in October 2012 following the CDC's recommendations that all Baby Boomers get screened.

"With this year's CDC grant, PHMC can continue Philadelphia's most effective clinical model to target hepatitis C," said Catelyn Coyle, Public Health Project Coordinator with NNCC. "The success of last year's program was a huge step towards following the recent CDC guidelines because we are not targeting specific behaviors, but rather the age cohort. We have been invited to present our best practices to the CDC in January."

To help standardize the screening process, PHMC's health network uses an integrated lab-based model with Electronic Medical Record modifications to prompt for screenings, track testing and facilitate insurance reimbursement to community health centers.

Often called the "silent epidemic," hepatitis C affects roughly 3.2 million people in the U.S., though at least half of those infected are unaware. Many people do not show symptoms until decades later, after serious complications like liver disease or cancer have set in. According to the CDC, people born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to have it than people of other age groups. Hepatitis Crelated deaths now outnumber HIV related deaths in this country, with more than 16,600 hepatitis C related deaths reported in 2010 by the CDC. Often times, these complications can be avoided if patients are diagnosed and treated sooner. In 2012, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Division of Disease Control added 3,911 new individuals to the HCV registry, of whom 1,622 (41%) met the case definition for a confirmed case and had not been previously confirmed in Philadelphia.

In addition to the current clinic-based CDC hepatitis C screening grant, PHMC has a longstanding record of implementing community-based viral hepatitis services directly in high risk communities. Philadelphia Hepatitis Outreach Project (P-HOP), which receives funding support from Office of Addiction Services, conducts viral hepatitis education, HCV screening and linkage to care services in communities like substance abuse recovery homes, treatment facilities, homeless shelters, youth in low-income neighborhoods, HIV patients and baby boomers. Last year, P-HOP provided more than 400 hepatitis C screenings.

Furthermore, PHMC's HIV/HCV Prevention Street Outreach Project, which now operates in partnership with P-HOP, is also conducting street outreach, education and screening services for individuals at high risk for HIV and HCV. Since 2007, both projects provided more than 2,000 hepatitis C antibody screenings and more than 60,000 individual outreach encounters.

About PHMC
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit

About National Nursing Centers Consortium
The National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC), the national member organization for nurse-managed health centers, and an affiliate of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) works to advance nurse-led health care through policy, consultation, programs and applied research to reduce health disparities and meet people's primary care and wellness needs. Nurse-managed health centers are community-based practices led by advanced practice nurses (primarily nurse practitioners). The nation's nurse-managed health centers reduce health disparities by providing high quality comprehensive primary health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services to uninsured and vulnerable patients in rural, urban, and suburban communities. For more information on NNCC, visit