Since March 5, 2020, WVHAMP has...

Individuals Trained
Consults Received (from 44 providers)
Patients Cured (for a 98.1% 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

Raymond Rushden, MD

In my 36 years of medical practice in Logan and Mingo counties, I frequently noted the number of patients I was discharging from the hospital with mental health problems, that had nowhere to be referred for mental health issues whether it be depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or drug and alcohol addiction. Any referrals to other counties ended up being canceled or no shows. Their problems were not addressed, and therefore mental health issues flourished and worsened. Until recently it was 6 months before that patient could be seen locally.

As I was evaluating MAT patients, I found a high percentage positive for HCV. We decided to help these people with my background in GI. I joined WVHAMP and was well schooled by Dr Feinberg and others. I’ve evaluated 57 patients until now and have 40 cures. They probably would never have been treated except for WVHAMP.

When I began as staff physician at Logan Mingo Area Mental Health (LMAMH) 8+ years ago, I was the only local provider for the area except for a doctor on telehealth for some of the Mingo County consumers. Working 12 hours/day, 6 days/week we were able to try to catch up on those who had lost their appointments
from the previous single provider. I see my role at LMAMH as trying to assist the community with their mental health concerns now that there are nurse practitioners on staff. I plan to direct the plan of patient care with all providers, as this community must have a local answer for general psychiatry problems as well as the ever-increasing load of patients suffering from substance use disorder; at least for the portion of them seeking our help or being referred from the ER, local physicians’ offices, and law enforcement. And now we can add curing
HCV to our list of accomplishments.

Dr. Rushden participated in the first (and only) in-person WVHAMP training in March 2020 and 13 of his
patients who have reached the timepoint for assessment of response have all been cured, 100% cure rate.
With WVHAMP support he has treated complex patients who previously would have been referred to
specialists in Charleston. The 57 consultants he has submitted so far, 38 have been referrals, evidence that he is seen as an expert resource in his community.

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.

August 10, 2022 (Cohort 8) – Register HERE

November 9, 2022 (Cohort 9) – Register HERE

February 7, 2023 (Cohort 10) -Register HERE

July 11, 2023 (Cohort 11) – Register HERE

October 3, 2023 (Cohort 12) – Register HERE

January 9, 2024 (Cohort 13) – Register HERE