The fight to curb Hepatitis C in Indiana has more help in the form of a grant to Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance. The Franciscan Health Foundation was awarded more than $365,000 to expand testing of at-risk patients
Indiana has seen a tripling of Hepatitis C case in the last five years, and Franciscan Health Foundation Corporate Executive Director Caitlin Leahy says the grant is welcome news “If identified early, HVC is treatable and even curable. New medications have been introduced that reduce treatment times and have significantly fewer side effects. This funding gives us the ability to expand our reach from south suburban Chicago service areas to the over 28 counties in Indiana that Franciscan is privileged to serve,” she said. “Hep C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to the CDC. The Baby Boomer population (born 1945-’65) is most susceptible; however, with the increase of injection drug use linked to the opioid epidemic, infection rates for Americans between the ages of 20 to 29 are on the rise.”
Leahy says testing of at-risk patients will expand from 13,000 to 40,000 with the additional funding. The grant is being administered by Gilead Sciences Inc. of California, which develops therapeutic medical solutions.
The grant renewal will begin in May and will provide services through May of next year.