In the United States, chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major
contributor to liver-related morbidity and mortality. Effective and safe oral therapies for HBV are available and
markedly diminish long-term adverse outcomes. Immunization with HBV vaccine remains the most effective HBV
prevention strategy. With the emergence of safe, all oral, direct-acting antiviral agents for the treatment of
HCV, more than 90% of persons with chronic HCV can be cured with only 8 to 12 weeks of therapy. With widespread
screening for HCV infection and effective treatment for those diagnosed with chronic HCV, the potential now
exists for a dramatic decline in HCV-related incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality.
The cornerstone of effective strategies to combat chronic viral hepatitis in the United States (U.S.)
depends on a health care professional workforce with the core competency to effectively diagnose, treat, and
prevent chronic HBV and HCV infections. Access to free, up-to-date, comprehensive, non-biased educational
materials that provide continuing education credits is a critical component of clinician education on HBV and
HCV. To this end, the University of Washington National Hepatitis Training Center (HTC) has extensive experience
in the development and implementation of state-of-the-art online training on viral hepatitis; the Hepatitis B
Online and Hepatitis C Online are highly visible and widely used educational platforms.
For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Viral Hepatitis Education, Awareness, and
Capacity Building for Communities and Providers funding opportunity (CDC-RFA-PS21-2105), the HTC proposes to
improve and significantly expand our existing Hepatitis B (www.hepatitisb.uw.edu) and Hepatitis C (www.
hepatitisc.uw.edu) educational websites, with the goal of enhancing medical provider knowledge, skills, and core
competency in the following areas of viral hepatitis: prevention of transmission, hepatitis B immunization,
implementation of CDC testing recommendations, medical monitoring, complications of viral hepatitis, and
treatment of persons with HBV and/or HCV infection. Specific proposed project activities include: (1) review,
update, and upgrade Hepatitis B Online; (2) review, update, and upgrade Hepatitis C Online; (3) develop a
Clinical Challenges-Expert Opinion sections for both websites; (4) develop a Mini-Lecture Series for both
websites; (5) develop new dynamic home pages for both websites; (6) award free Continuing Medical Education (CME)
credits, Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours, pharmacology CE for advanced practice nurses, and
Certificates of Completion (CoC); (7) identify segments of healthcare professionals who provide services to
populations affected by viral hepatitis; and (8) develop and disseminate a variety of marketing materials to
promote both websites, content, and services.
The HTC online viral hepatitis platforms provide free, up-to-date, interactive, comprehensive, on-demand
learning curricula. These online resources are poised to play a key role in efforts to expand the U.S. viral
hepatitis healthcare workforce capacity. Improving provider education and capacity in the field of viral
hepatitis in the U.S. will ultimately contribute to decreased morbidity and mortality from HBV and HCV.