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Pharmacy Students Trained as Hepatitis C Educators

HCV-Training-PhotoOn May 21, fourth-year pharmacy students William Herbert and Myduy Nguyen, along with pharmacy faculty member Dr. Ashton Beggs, attended a Hepatitis C Training Workshop. This intensive one-day training provided attendees with knowledge and tools to go into their communities and educate others about Hepatitis C. Topics covered in this workshop include the liver, Hepatitis C transmission, prevention, diagnosis, symptoms, disease progression and management as well as medical treatment.

In 2001, the Hepatitis C Support Project (HCSP) conducted a broad needs assessment for hepatitis C awareness and education. The HCSP determined the most needed resource was a quality hepatitis C educational process that could be widely distributed and utilized throughout underserved communities affected by hepatitis C. To accomplish this objective, HCSP designed a program that covers awareness and education in a training workshop environment. The goal of this program is to provide unbiased and quality education to individuals who can then educate their respective communities on the virus.

Beggs provides clinical pharmacy services at United Neighborhood Health Services Downtown and Mission Clinics. These two clinics primarily serve the homeless population in Nashville. Each month her students work with other health care providers at these clinics to provide patient care in an interdisciplinary manner.

“This was a great opportunity to expand our knowledge about Hepatitis C, given that it affects many of our patients at UNHS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 3 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C and at least 15,000 Americans die each year of Hepatitis C-related complications. Gaining more insight into this disease and how to best care for those affected will undoubtedly improve our patient care at UNHS,” said Beggs.

Herbert said, “The workshop was very eye opening. It challenged me to look at Hepatitis C more personally rather than objectively- and encouraged me to advocate for more resources for patients affected by this disease.”

Nguyen said, “Prior to the training, I knew very little about the condition. Now, I am able to counsel patients on the condition, prevention, treatments and common side effects of medications. Overall, the training was engaging, helpful and fun.”

Given the successful completion of this workshop, Herbert, Nguyen and Beggs are now certified as Basic Hepatitis C Educators by the HCSP.

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