TEANECK, N.J. -- Holy Name Medical Center, based in Teaneck, is one of only 12 organizations in the country that will be honored at the National Hepatitis Testing Observance in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 19.
The medical center's efforts to provide free viral hepatitis screening is being recognized by the U.S. Department of Human Services. Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo will present the Viral Hepatitis Recognition Award to Kyung Hee Choi, Holy Name's VP of Asian Health Services.
The award will be given during a special event, "Responding to Viral Hepatitis in the U.S. -- a National Hepatitis Testing Day Observance," at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the grounds of the White House. Holy Name is the only organization in New Jersey receiving this award.
Between 3 and 5 million people are living with viral hepatitis in the U.S., and many do not know they are infected. Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection can lead to serious liver disease, liver cancer and death if undiagnosed and untreated.
Holy Name was among other organizations selected by state and national viral hepatitis prevention coordinators and advocates after documenting success in screening hard-to-reach populations, linked them to care and tracked program data.
Holy Name offers free hepatitis C testing through the emergency department for baby boomers, anyone born between 1945 and 1965. The hepatitis C virus is prevalent among this population, for reasons not quite understood. It is the only Bergen County hospital providing the free testing. Holy Name also provides free screenings for hepatitis B.
"Holy Name has become a national model for delivering culturally-appropriate care and part of that mission is knowing the specific needs of our diverse communities," said Holy Name CEO and President Michael Maron. "We are proud to be recognized by the White House and HHS for our committed efforts to offer education, screenings and treatment for viral hepatitis."
In an attempt to reach a large number of people within the Asian-American community, staff have also organized screenings at community churches.For more information about Holy Name, visit its website.