The UW Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy have partnered with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) and Department of Health (DOH) in a new project to evaluate the state-wide ‘Hep C Free Washington’ plan.

Hepatitis C virus – or HCV – is the most common blood borne infection in the United States, with nearly 60,000 cases in Washington State alone. And while in the past, diagnosis with HCV often meant long-term illness and liver disease, HCV can now be cured in as little as 8 weeks with recent advances in treatment.

Hep C Free Washington was formed with a goal to eliminate HCV in Washington State by 2030 following a 2018 directive by Governor Jay Inslee. The initiative, a collaboration of multiple stakeholder groups including HCA, DOH, and private entities, aims to accomplish this through combined public health programming efforts and a new medication purchasing approach. This new evaluation will assess program effectiveness in uptake of HCV screening and treatment, as well as cost outcomes.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has committed 1.2 million dollars over three years to fund the evaluation. The project will be led by a multi-disciplinary team at the University of Washington including Pamela Kohler, Associate Professor at the UW SON and Co-director of the CGHN; Paula Cox-North, Associate Teaching Professor at UW SON and Nurse Practitioner in the Hepatitis and Liver Clinic at Harborview Medical Center; and Anirban Basu, Professor and health economist at the UW School of Pharmacy.