December 11, 2020
Westside Family Healthcare Receives Support for Program to Improve Infectious Disease Care in Delaware
Westside Family Healthcare is among the recipients of Direct Relief’s Innovation Awards in Community Health: Addressing Infectious Disease in Underserved Communities. Grants totaling $2.5 million will go to 11 U.S. safety-net community healthcare providers, including Westside, to support innovative approaches to infectious disease education, screening, testing, treatment, and care.
Direct Relief funded Westside’s Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Patient and Provider Education, Screening and Successful Treatment Program. In 2018, Westside piloted this program for HCV screening and treatment program in a primary care setting. The initial pilot, which took place at two of Westside’s five health center locations, showed strong proof of concept. More than two-thousand patients were screened, and of those who were positive, 68% of patients treated achieved a sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment. Westside plans to use these funds to expand this promising program to all five health center locations in Delaware.
“Over the past 2 years in partnership with ChristianaCare, we have developed a program to expand services for Hepatitis C at our two Wilmington sites,” said Karla Testa, MD, FACP, FAAP, Director of Pediatrics and Special Populations at Westside. “This program has led to increased screening of hepatitis C, as well as treatment and cure of chronic hepatitis C. It is extremely gratifying to provide a cure for this disease and prevent further complications. For some patients, this has been the stimulus that has helped to reconnect them to a healthy lifestyle. This program will have a direct impact on patients by reducing barriers to care and providing treatment for a curable infection and reducing the need for specialty referral.”
“These awards are intended in part to allow providers to test and improve new care models and solutions, which is of utmost importance as healthcare is drastically changing due to COVID-19,” said Thomas Tighe, CEO and President of Direct Relief. “We are humbled by the dedication of these largely unheralded safety-net health providers to improve the lives and health of the people they care for.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing systemic health inequities, resulting in vulnerable patients and their loved ones experiencing even greater hardship,” said Caroline Roan, President, The Pfizer Foundation and Chief Sustainability Officer, Pfizer Inc. “We are proud to support Direct Relief and its network of frontline safety-net clinics across the U.S. to break down barriers to good health in underserved communities and increase access to life-saving infectious disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.”
About Westside Family Healthcare
Westside Family Healthcare is a Joint Commission Accredited non-profit community health system with locations currently in Wilmington, Northeast Wilmington, Newark, Bear/New Castle, and Dover providing care to 27,754 patients through 93,328 visits in 2019. Westside is the largest community health system in the state, providing family medical, dental, prenatal, and behavioral health services, regardless of ability to pay. Thirty-three percent of Westside Family Healthcare’s budget in 2019 comprised of Federal funds. Care is provided for all individuals, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Since March, Westside has been on the front lines responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, supporting population health. Learn more about Westside at www.westsidehealth.org.
About The Pfizer Foundation
The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions. The Foundation’s mission is to promote access to quality healthcare, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues.
About Direct Relief
A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
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