Ottumwa, Iowa, February 6, 2019 – Sieda Community Action is pleased to announce they will be partnering with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis to offer hepatitis C screening to their Behavioral Health and Treatment Services Clients. IDPH received funding from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to implement a demonstration project to assist in eliminating hepatitis C in Iowa. The project runs through July 31, and focuses on implementing the activities of the Iowa Hepatitis Action Plan, including integrating hepatitis C testing in substance use treatment facilities, developing Consumer Advisory Boards comprising people who inject drugs, implementing surveys and focus groups with Iowans who use drugs, and funding Patient Navigators to assist Iowans diagnosed with hepatitis C with getting linked to medical care.

“We were surprised and flattered that the IDPH Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis reached out to Sieda to be one of four partners in this demonstration project,” says Suzette Van Vark, Director of Sieda’s Behavioral Health and Treatment Services Unit. “We’re hopeful this project will help reduce the spread of the disease in Iowa and provide a foundation to expand these services to other centers across the state.”

Other partners for this project include The Project of Quad Cities in Davenport, Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, and Quad Cities Harm Reduction.