Since March 5, 2020, WVHAMP has...

Individuals Trained
Consults Received (from 51 providers)
Patients Cured (for a 98.4% cure rate)

These numbers demonstrate that with guidance and support, PCPs who have never previously treated HCV can achieve the same rate of cure as a specialist (95-99%).

West Virginia HIV Academic Mentoring Partnership

On March 5, 2020, the West Virginia Hepatitis Academic Mentoring Partnership (WVHAMP) held its first training in Bluefield, WV. Since then, ably supported by the West Virginia Rural Health Association, we have held quarterly full-day trainings, providing primary care and addiction care providers with ongoing guidance to manage West Virginians with hepatitis C from diagnosis to cure. To date, WVHAMP Scholars have submitted almost 900 consultations, achieving a 98.3% cure rate that is comparable to the 95-99% rate expected of specialists.

As our state now has “the most worrisome HIV outbreak in the US” according to the CDC, we are now offering PCPs the knowledge and guidance to diagnose and treat HIV.

February 28th, 2023

Since March 5, 2020, WVHAMP has...

Individuals Trained
Consults Received (from 51 providers)
Patients Cured (for a 98.3% cure rate)

These numbers demonstrate that with guidance and support, PCPs who have never previously treated HCV can achieve the same rate of cure as a specialist (95-99%).

Provider Spotlight

Dr. Letitia Tierney

I am Dr. Letitia Tierney, an Internal Medicine and Pediatric Physician who currently serves as a Primary Care Physician in Charleston, WV. I am also an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at West Virginia University. I received my undergraduate degree and my medical degree from West Virginia University. I also earned a Law Degree from the George Washington University School of Law and a Certificate in Public Health Leadership from the Kennedy School of Public Health at Harvard University. I completed an Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency at West Virginia University and Charleston Area Medical Center, serving as Chief Resident in my final year of Residency.I have extensive Public Health experience serving as the Commissioner for the Bureau of Public Health and West Virginia State Health Officer under Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. I was born and raised in Charleston and am glad that I am able to provide health care in Kanawha County. I am also proud of the work we have all done to bring Hepatitis C care to West Virginians and look forward to a future free of Hepatitis C for everyone.

I accepted a position at Cabin Creek Health Systems in January 2018. I work in a small clinic inside the Kanawha Charleston Health Department. The clinic was started in an attempt to see folks who came through the Harm Reduction/Syringe Exchange Program. There was a need for primary care services including care for chronic diseases, birth control, treatment for abscesses, sexually transmitted diseases, and other infectious diseases including HIV, Hep B and Hep C. I was shocked at the number of patients who tested positive for hepatitis C.

I had the opportunity to participate in the first WVHAMP training in March 2020. Since then, I have 29 patients that have finished treatment and have been cured, 7 in current treatment, and have at least 5 that are in the process of getting started with treatment. It is so gratifying to see the patients and tell them they no longer have hepatitis C because they have been cured.

Most of the patients I see have contracted hepatitis C through injection drug use. Addiction, a chronic medical disease, is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It is often accompanied with other physical, mental, and social problems. While there are currently so many programs and efforts to treat patients with substance use disorder, there is still so much work to be done.

In addition to working, I have served on the board of Hospice of Southern WV since 2005. I live near Beckley, am married, have two grown sons, three grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Ladybug. I enjoy reading, gardening and have recently been taking painting classes. 

How It Works

WVHAMP is a free telementoring partnership designed for primary and addiction care providers to link with disease experts for hepatitis C training. WVHAMP is designed to build a mentorship platform that is accessible to primary and addiction care providers caring for high-risk individuals throughout West Virginia, so that individuals with chronic hepatitis C can be cared for and cured in their own community.

WVHAMP Course Goals

  • Recruit primary and addiction care providers practicing in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Addiction Care Clinics, and rural community clinics in high-risk communities throughout West Virginia.
  • Establish a primary and addiction care workforce trained by hepatitis C experts to screen, diagnose, treat, and follow up with the goal of curing persons with chronic hepatitis C infection throughout West Virginia, including high-risk, rural, and low-resource settings.
  • Remove barriers to care for individuals diagnosed with hepatitis C.
  • Increase the number of West Virginians living with hepatitis C who are successfully linked to care and cured.

WVHAMP Course Objectives

  • Understand strategies to identify persons with chronic hepatitis C infection.
  • Understand hepatitis C epidemiology, screening, diagnosis, management, treatment, cure and prevention.
  • Understand the burden of hepatitis C infection in high risk groups in West Virginia and throughout the Appalachian Region.
  • Understand staging of liver disease and hepatitis C counseling and transmission risks.
  • Understand recent and evolving changes to West Virginia’s Medicaid Program and how these changes impact viral hepatitis treatment in West Virginia.
  • Understand how the increase in hepatitis C infection is related to the growing opioid epidemic in West Virginia and the U.S.
  • Have knowledge of injection drug use and describe the ways to enhance access to hepatitis C screening and treatment services for substance users.
  • Understand the infrastructure necessary to support hepatitis care, treatment and cure in primary and addiction care settings.
  • Identify screening for hepatitis C during pregnancy and the potential for perinatal transmission.
  • Understand procedures for screening, testing, treatment and cure of babies born to mothers with hepatitis C infection.

What is Expected

  • Participants will make a commitment to participate in WVHAMP trainings for at least 12 months. This training prepares providers to evaluate patients and submit consultations.
  • Interested providers apply to attend the WVHAMP day-long online Cycle 1 training.
  • After Cycle 1 training, providers are invited to participate in the evening educational webinars every month.  Providers will present challenges and patient cases to their peers and WVHAMP Mentorship Team for feedback and guidance.
  • Complete the half-day WVHAMP Cycle 2 training. That covers additional relevant topics.
  • Submit a WVHAMP Consultation Form for each patient that has been fully evaluated through the secure/online WVHAMP data system.
  • Mentors review the Consultation Form, advise on the proposed treatment regimen and approve the treatment plan.
  • Mentors provide backup for complex cases as needed.
  • Participants will be provided a one-year membership to the West Virginia Rural Health Association.
  • Participants will have access to WVHAMP training materials/tool kit on the West Virginia Rural Health Association website via a designated link.
  • WVHAMP planners have applied for Continuing Education Credits for participation.

WVHAMP training event dates

Each Cohort will have a full-day (WVHAMP 1) session followed by a half-day (WVHAMP 2) session approximately 6 months later. Monthly evening webinars will occur every 2 months on the 2nd or 3rd Tuesday.

Half day training will be registered for privately and is required for completion after each full day training.

February 7, 2023 (Cohort 10) -Register HERE

July 11, 2023 (Cohort 11) – Register HERE

October 17, 2023 (Cohort 12) – Register HERE

January 9, 2024 (Cohort 13) – Register HERE