Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Main Menu Search

HepReady – a means to ending viral hepatitis

Image From left: Julie Shiels, Dr Sally Cockburn, Lin Bender, Melanie Eagle, Frank Carlus, Reece Lamshed, Dr Rosemary McKenzie

Hepatitis Victoria's HEPReady workforce training program was officially launched on 28 March 2017, completing its transformation from a seedling social enterprise aspiration to a full-blown commercial training program aimed at saving lives.

Hepatitis Victoria has launched HEPReady, an important component of the multi-pronged approach that is needed to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C in Australia. Almost 500,000 Australians or 2% of the population are living with chronic viral hepatitis and up to a third don’t know it. Liver cancer, largely caused by chronic viral hepatitis infection, is the fastest increasing cause of cancer death in Australia. Delays in diagnosis and low treatment rates, means over four Victorians die every week and nationally 1,000 Australians die every year as a consequence of viral hepatitis.

Funded by HMSTrust in 2016 with a Social Impact grant of $165,000 over two years, HEPReady has been developed specifically for health and community workers, including nurses, to enable more people at risk or living with hepatitis to test and be treated without stigma. It supports health workers to communicate with clients about the full range of complex issues hepatitis, and gain the skills necessary to empathetically support and care for the people living with, or at risk of viral hepatitis. Delivered face-to-face or online (web tutorials), HEPReady can also be tailored to an organisation’s workforce and delivered onsite.

Significantly, the Trust’s grant has enabled Hepatitis Victoria to develop a sustainable social enterprise that will not only extend the organisations’s reach, efficiency and effectiveness, but also build a long-term, sustainable revenue stream.

Guest speakers at the launch included Gabrielle Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Lin Bender, Chief Executive of HMSTrust and Dr Sally Cockburn, GP and media health advocate a.k.a. Dr Feelgood.

For more information, view the HEPReady case study on our website or visit HEPReady Training.