The California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHEP) seeks to reduce the scope and consequences of the hepatitis B and C epidemics, which disproportionately affect California’s ethnic communities and the socioeconomically underserved. Committed to culturally competent public education and awareness, CalHEP focuses on sound public health policy and advocacy to improve California’s public health approach to liver wellness.
CalHEP is an alliance of more than 100 organizations dedicated to reducing the scope and consequences of the hepatitis B and C epidemics in California. CalHEP includes among its membership public health organizations, community-based organizations, clinics and health care agencies, county hepatitis task forces, and others committed to viral hepatitis prevention, care, advocacy, and education. CalHEP’s work focuses on:
- Advocating for sound policies
- Promoting evidence-based education
- Broadening access to services
CalHEP is a program of Project Inform.
CalHEP is managed by Emalie Huriaux, Director of Federal and State Affairs at Project Inform, and guided by a Steering Committee composed of leading viral hepatitis experts and advocates in California.
CalHEP began in June 2006 as The California Hepatitis C Alliance when organizations from across the state joined forces to advocate for sound HCV policies. The action plan of the nascent organization included advocating for: a statewide public awareness campaign; information clearinghouse; improved surveillance; better education for professionals and patients; and increased access to testing and vaccination for hepatitis C. CalHEP members began advocating in earnest on October 20, 2007—designated as Hepatitis C Advocacy Day—by visiting state and local officials in their home offices. By October 2007, CalHEP had obtained a grant from The California Endowment, broadened its mission to unifying hepatitis B and C interests in the state, and continued to expand its services and reach.
- June 2006: CalHEP forms
- October 2007: CalHEP broadens mission to unify hepatitis B and C interests
- October 2007: CalHEP designates a nine-member Steering Committee led by Diana Sylvestre, MD, medical director of O.A.S.I.S. Clinic in Oakland
- December 2007: CalHEP membership expands to 35 organizations
- February 2008: CalHEP convenes advocacy teams of 10 to 15 members from Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and rural areas
- March 2008: Christopher Kennedy Lawford is named CalHEP Honorary Chair and Spokesperson at the CalHEP 1st annual meeting in Sacramento
- August 2008: CalHEP becomes a collaborative partner to the California Department of Public Health to develop a viral hepatitis strategic plan
- December 2008: CalHEP membership grows to 65 organizations
- January 2009: Gov. Arnold Swarzenegger names Christopher Kennedy Lawford to California’s Public Health Advisory Committee
- March 2009: CalHEP Steering Committee elected by member organizations
- November 2009: CalHEP membership includes more than 80 organizations