• Press Release

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

  • NEW YORK
  • (August 18, 2014)

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

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

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