Hepatitis C Support and Treatment Service
The Hepatitis C Support and Treatment Service is a regional resource based in Sioux Lookout that works with people at risk of acquiring, living with or affected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
The goal is to ensure this population is supported by an interdisciplinary team offering guidance, education, case management coordination, and treatment.
The collaborative team is made up of HCV Treating Physicians, a Treatment Nurse and a Case Coordinator. The team not only provides HCV support and treatment in Sioux Lookout but is a mobile team, travelling to northern communities to deliver service.
Those eligible to receive the service include First Nations and Non-First Nations people residing in Sioux Lookout and the surrounding area, and the 33 First Nation communities served by SLFNHA (see back of pamphlet for a list of these communities).
The purpose of this service is to increase:
- Awareness of testing options and access to HCV testing
- Access to HCV care and treatment
- The number of people receiving and successfully completing treatment
- Access to support services, including mental health and addiction counselling
- Knowledge and awareness of HCV risk factors and prevention
- Coordination, collaboration, and evidence based practice across the system responding to HCV
- System effectiveness, transparency and responsiveness
This service is a branch of the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority’s Regional Wellness Response Program (RWRP) and offered in partnership with primary health care providers. The RWRP was initiated to respond to priority areas of substance abuse and blood-borne infections.
Early Access to HCV Care
Increasing access to holistic care and treatment for at risk populations by addressing the continuum of health and social service needs can lead to better health outcomes by reducing the number of people with active HCV and reducing the risk of transmission.
Hepatitis C Virus
- The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted through exposure to infected blood
- Individuals may have no symptoms for many years after initial infection
- HCV is a major leading cause of chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer
- More than half of all HCV cases are contracted through injection drug use
- One-third of those with HCV are undiagnosed, are unaware they are living with the virus, and may without knowing pass the virus on to others
Case Management & Treatment
- Assess the needs and goals of people at risk of acquiring, living with or affected by HCV
- Develop service plans to monitor progress and remove barriers to care
- Assist clients in accessing HCV testing
- Treatment of chronic hepatitis C
- Monitor and support patients through all stages of HCV care and treatment
- Facilitate referrals to health and social services as needed
Coordination & Collaboration
- Work closely with health care providers and regional HCV networks to reduce gaps in service and optimize access to seamless healthcare delivery
- Assist in the development of strong community based and regional responses to HCV
- Provide educational presentations to community members and service providers on topics such as HCV risk factors, prevention, testing, care, treatment options and reducing stigma associated with HCV
- Informative resource for primary care and service providers
Referrals from Service Providers
Health care or social service providers can call to request a referral form to refer a patient or client to our service. Forms can be filled out and faxed back to our office. Physicians can also refer individuals through the electronic medical record.
We also accept self-referrals. This means that people who are at risk of acquiring, living with or affected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can call our confidential phone numbers (807) 737-6192 or Toll Free 1 (866) 337-0081.