Naitonal Hepatitis Testing Day: Ask the Expert, Corinna Dan

National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States is part of an educational initiative of CDC's Division of  Viral Hepatitis and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, Updated 2014-2016 .

Corinna Dan, R.N., M.P.H., is Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infections Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she is working to implement the the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, which aims to build awareness of new hepatitis C screening recommendations and treatments, as well as prevention, diagnosis, care and treatment for viral hepatitis now available under the Affordable Care Act. 

Here, Ms. Dan responds to questions about hepatitis C as part of our observation of Hepatitis Awareness Month, the launch of our the new ATTC resource, HCVCurrent, and  National Hepatitis Testing Day.

Mike Boyle: In Memoriam

The behavioral health field lost a great leader on May 7, 2015, with the sudden passing of Mike Boyle.

Mike’s nearly 40-year career at Fayette Companies (now known as The Human Service Center) in Peoria, Illinois was focused on improving the quality of care for people suffering from substance use and mental health disorders. From his start as a youth outreach worker, Mike went on to lead Fayette Companies as president and CEO. Upon his retirement, he joined the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the UW-Madison as a Senior Innovation Officer. 

Under Mike’s leadership, Fayette Companies was among the nation’s first treatment agencies to test the NIATx model of process improvement, as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Paths to Recovery project. One of Fayette Companies’ first NIATx change projects focused on increasing retention in treatment at the agency’s residential program for women. With Mike at the helm, NIATx tools and techniques became part of Fayette Companies organizational culture. Fayette Companies has contributed to the success of numerous NIATx projects as well as to the development of Addiction-CHESS. 

Mike loved to share his lessons with the field in writing, as a lead author or contributor to several scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals.  He wrote frequently for the NIATx E-news and the ATTC/NIATx Service Improvement Blog, and also served on the editorial board for The Bridge, the ATTC Network’s quarterly research e-zine.  Mike’s knowledge and experience appears in a range of NIATx publications, including Getting Started with Medication-Assisted Treatment, the NIATx Workbook, and The NIATx Third-Party Billing Guide, and NIATx: Process Improvement in Behavioral Health.

Mike often said that he was fortunate to work with NIATx and the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, but we were really fortunate to have him as one of our biggest champions. Here, some who worked closely with Mike share their thoughts on his commitment to quality care, innovation, and his lasting impact on the addiction treatment field:

"Know More Hepatitis" with HCVCurrent

"Maintaining my recovery while dealing with a diagnosis of Hepatitis C is a lot like juggling while walking a tightrope." Kimberly Walline, ATTC Network's In My Own Words Essay Contest, 2013

Kimberly’s story appears in the “In My Own Words” essay book, the result of the ATTC Network’s  Recovery Month 2013 essay contest. With Faces and Voices of Recovery, the Hepatitis C Association, the Harm Reduction Coalition, and Help4Hep, our  Recovery Month partners that year, we invited essays from people who are coping with Hepatitis C and also in recovery from a substance use disorder or mental illness.

Medication-assisted treatment: an update from Missouri

In the April 2015 NIATx E-news, Mike Boyle shared results of recent studies on use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Overall results suggest that a lot of work remains to be done in order for MAT to gain wide acceptance.

But MAT is firmly established in states like Missouri, which was among the first states to make a commitment to providing MAT.

Mark Stringer, Director, Division of Behavioral Health at the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) says his state’s involvement with a NIATx program, Advancing Recovery (AR) helped build the foundation the MAT program that exists toda. Stringer also serves as the state's Single State Authority.

Alcoholism research to the real world: Addiction Science Made Easy

Held every year in April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) Alcohol Awareness Month has a special focus on underage drinking—a particular problem in April, the beginning of prom and graduation season.

NCADD promotes early education as key to preventing underage drinking and to helping individuals and families seek help for drinking problems. If you’re looking for quick access to research to accompany your alcohol and addiction related education activities during April—or any other time of the year—look no further than the Addiction Science Made Easy (ASME) feature on the ATTC website. There, you’ll find research briefs based on articles from the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and the the NIDA CTN Dissemination Library.

The dilemma of alcohol use among the elderly: Then what?

Dave Gustafson, Director
Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies and NIATx
University of Wisconsin-Madison

April marks NCADD’s 28th Annual Alcohol Awareness Month with a focus on preventing underage drinking and its harmful consequences. Alcohol use and misuse among young people is extremely dangerous, no doubt about it. But at the other end of the lifespan, alcohol use among the elderly presents another dilemma.

Let me tell you more about my view of this.

Teen brains and marijuana: Marijuana Lit Video Series

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network Coommunications Coordinator
Senior Editor, NIATx

There’s a lot that’s new on the ATTC website!

Have you seen the new HCV Current site? We’ve also released Integrating Substance Use Disorder and Health Care Services in an Era of Health Reform, the first white paper for our project on Advancing Integration.

But another new item that we don’t want you to miss is the latest video in the ATTC Network’s Marijuana Lit series. Just released:  “Effects of Marijuana Use on Developing Adolescents.”