Responding to Hep A Outbreak, Volunteers Needed to Administer Vaccine

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The Bureau for Public Health (BPH) is seeking medical volunteers to administer Hepatitis A vaccine at several clinics that will be conducted throughout the state, in response to a Hepatitis A outbreak in West Virginia.

Health care professionals are especially needed to administer Hepatitis A vaccine at the Charleston Treatment Center on 1/11/2019.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tony Leach, Volunteer Coordinator with the West Virginia Center for Threat Preparedness (CTP) as soon as possible at tony.m.leach@wv.gov or by phone at 304-558-6900 to be placed on a vaccination strike team roster.

Since March 2018 West Virginia has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of confirmed cases of acute Hepatitis A virus (HAV) across the state.

The HAV outbreak in West Virginia includes over 2,000 confirmed cases in 40 counties.The BPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide HAV vaccine to at-risk populations and are assisting Local Health Departments to implement vaccination strategies across the state.

As part of this statewide initiative, BPH will be coordinating and participating in a series of vaccination clinics in January 2019. It is currently targeting 7 Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) Comprehensive Treatment Centers located in Raleigh, Harrison, Wood, Mingo, Kanawha, Ohio and Cabell counties.

The clinics will take place from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the first taking place in Cabell County on Jan. 4, 2019.

Medical volunteers are needed to help administer HAV vaccine at these clinics. Prior experience in vaccine administration and/or participating in mass vaccination clinics is preferred, but not required. Just In Time (JIT) training will be offered to interested volunteers.

Confirmed clinics dates are as follows:

  • Huntington Treatment Center – 1/4/2019
  • Williamson Treatment Center – 1/7/2019
  • Beckley Treatment Center – 1/8/2019
  • Charleston Treatment Center – 1/11/2019
  • Parkersburg Treatment Center – 1/22/2019

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tony Leach, Volunteer Coordinator with the West Virginia Center for Threat Preparedness (CTP) as soon as possible at tony.m.leach@wv.gov or by phone at 304-558-6900 to be placed on a vaccination strike team roster.

Just because you are placed on the volunteer roster, does not mean you will be required to participate in the clinics. We will work around schedules to make sure you are available before assigning to a clinic. Once all logistical information is confirmed, Mr. Leach will follow up to coordinate JIT and clinic coverage dates to ensure it fits your schedule.

Register-Herald: Free Forum In Beckley To Tackle Rise of Hep-C, HIV

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By Wendy Holdren/Beckley Register-Herald

In the past three years, Beckley ARH Hospital’s infectious disease consultant has seen a huge outbreak in HIV and Hepatitis C cases — in large part due to the rise in intravenous drug use.

“Southern, rural West Virginia is facing a huge problem, and it continues to get worse,” said Dr. Zonaira Gul.

She believes the problem will only continue to grow unless the community has an open, honest dialogue about getting tested, accessing treatment, and breaking the cycle of addiction.

Beckley ARH will host a forum, “Communicate: Hep C & HIV, A Community Response to a Public Health Crisis,” from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Gul will be one of the panelists, along with law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, health department officials and more…

Read the full story at www.register-herald.com

WV MetroNews: West Virginia Cannabis Director Named

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By WV MetroNews

A new medical cannabis director has been named in West Virginia.

Jason Frame will become the director of the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis under the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, state Health Officer and Commissioner of the state DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health named Frame to the job this week. Gupta will oversee the office.

“We still have a lot of work to do in establishing the process for setting up dispensaries, growers, processors, and laboratories, and I believe Mr. Frame is ready to meet that challenge,” Gupta said in a statement.

This comes after Governor Jim Justice signed the Medical Cannabis Act into law last year. The law allows medical marijuana to be used by West Virginia residents with a serious medical condition…

Read the full story at WV Metro News.

Our First Look at West Virginia’s New Opioid Response Plan

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Expanding the authority of West Virginia’s public health officials to address inappropriate prescribing of pain medications, requiring all first responders to carry naloxone, and supporting programs that help children and families affected by opioid addiction are just some of the recommendations that feature in the new Opioid Response Plan.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) submitted its final recommendations for the Opioid Response Plan to Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature following a period of expert study and public input.

Read more about the Opioid Response Plan at www.register-herald.com

HRSA December Workforce Connections

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National Center for Health Workforce Analysis released two primary care reports

  1. Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030 According to the study, seven states are projected to have a shortage of RNs and thirty-three states are expected to experience a shortage of LPNs.
  2. Sex, Race, and Ethnic Diversity of U.S. Health Occupations (2011-2015) The report analyzed 30 health occupations in the U.S. and found that female workers represent the majority in 25 of the occupations.

HRSA Health Workforce Open Opportunities

  1. Regional Public Health Training Centers Program – Apply by January 26.
  2. Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention – Registered Nurses Primary Care Training Program – Apply by January 29th
  3. Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Training Primary Care Champions – Apply by January 30th