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HepConnect Evaluation


Gilead Sciences

Funding Duration

February 2019 - December 2023

Principal Investigator

Samuella Ware

Primary Contact

Kristin Kennedy


HepConnect is a five-year initiative to help address the increase in HCV infections in the Appalachian region of the US, focused on expanding HCV screening, linking people to care, improving healthcare professional education, and supporting evidence-based harm reduction through partnerships. The HepConnect Initiative vision is to address the increase in HCV infections in the region in partnership with local organizations using evidence-based solutions to meet the needs of people most affected by the opioid crisis. The goals and objective are below.

Pillar 1: Expand Screening and Linkage to Care

  1. Increase screening and linkage to care across the region while addressing barriers to access
  2. The expansion of partnerships will be done in collaboration with health departments and local organizations

Pillar 2: Activate Healthcare Infrastructure

  1. Educate and expand the number of providers who can offer HCV care to patients
  2. Provide support for implementation of telemedicine and other innovative programs in the region

Pillar 3: Support Harm Reduction and Community Education

  1. Strengthen capacity of organizations to provide harm reduction services, including syringe exchange programs, especially in rural service deserts
  2. Support key stakeholder education while supporting policies that protect at-risk communities


In order to support Gilead in achieving the HepConnect vision, the evaluation is planned to cut across all three pillars. An evaluation plan, a reporting system, quality improvement tools, program reports and data use meetings to support the selected indicators are planned for in the proposal approved by Gilead. While the goals for the evaluation will remain the same, the approach is broadened to understand the policy environment in which the HepConnect performance indicators will be interpreted, and to document examples of change in policies which may be implemented across the 5 focus states during implementation. In order to provide recommendations to Gilead for subsequent years of HepConnect implementation, ETR’s evaluation approach has six interconnected goals:

  • Providing the technical expertise to work in collaboration to develop an evaluation framework driven by the goals and objectives for HepConnect
  • Working with HRC to refine, revise, and standardize aspects of their evaluation plan
  • Ongoing evaluation support (technical assistance as requested)
  • Diversifying evaluation methods to focus on rapid evaluation, mixed methods, and sharing information in areas such as screening and linkage to care, healthcare provider and community education, syringe exchange program (SEP) policy change
  • Emphasis on continuous program improvement
  • Focus on translation and dissemination of evaluation data and policies





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