Mount Sinai Primary Care Services for Those With Hepatitis C
$1.9 million in federal funding received through the Fund for Public Health and NYC DOHMH
With the number of people with chronic hepatitis C reaching record levels in New York City and the recent availability of more effective treatments, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced the receipt of $1.9 million in federal funding to increase its capacity to treat HCV in primary care settings. Called Project INSPIRE NYC, the new initiative arose from a partnership between The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) and the Fund for Public Health, which together won a grant to fund it from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Health Care Innovation Awards program.
The project will seek to better identify those infected with hepatitis C through surveillance databases and community referrals as part of primary care, while ensuring that patients get the best treatment, behavioral counseling and a read out on health risks that can accompany the disease (e.g. substance abuse). Primary care or HIV providers will be supported by addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists and hepatologists, who will be available via telemedicine.
“Building a better system to find and care for the many patients with chronic hepatitis C in our community is an urgent priority, and we are honored to be a part of it,” said Ponni Perumalswami, MD, Assistant Professor for Medicine and Liver Diseases, and Director of the Mount Sinai Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This is an exciting initiative spearheaded by the City’s Health Department that will lead to better health outcomes.”
The projected Mount Sinai subcontract will run for three years, led by Dr. Perumalswami and co-investigators Jeffrey J. Weiss, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and General Internal Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Douglas T. Dieterich, MD, Professor of Medicine and Liver Diseases and Director of Outpatient Hepatology, both at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The goals of Project INSPIRE NYC are to provide better care by increasing the number of patients starting HCV therapy, strengthen management of behavioral health problems and reduce hospitalizations. The program will also work to reduce the number of HCV-related complications, and increase screenings for depression and alcohol abuse among those diagnosed with chronic HCV. This promises to improve patient health while lower health care costs.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."