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HepConnect

Donald Davis, Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition

HepConnect is a regional initiative that focuses on the intersection of hepatitis C and drug use in five key states: Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Thanks to the generous support of Gilead Sciences, Harm Reduction Coalition will serve as HepConnect’s lead organization. Under the HepConnect Initiative, Harm Reduction Coalition will make investments through grant-making in building program capacity and supporting targeted outreach and education, provide on-the-ground technical assistance, and convene stakeholders to strengthen local, state, and regional partnerships.

We spent much of 2018 working on how to change the way to do our work. For many years, we have heard from our partners on the ground that they need more than just technical assistance, capacity building, and support on policy advocacy. You have been very clear, you need resources and boots on the ground. As we presented our new strategic priorities during our national conference, we heard again that in order to build the harm reduction movement and center the voices of people who use drugs, we must find ways to strengthen and expand local programs. We need to focus on the intersections of overdose, hepatitis C, and syringe access by centering directly impacted members of our communities. We are so excited to announce the launch of HepConnect, a new initiative that allows Harm Reduction Coalition to invest deeply in five key states to expand service capacity and build our movement! You can watch the national launch of the HepConnect featuring our Executive Director Monique Tula and a follow up conversation with Donald Davis of Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition about the initiative.

Read more about why our team and why our partners in the five states are excited about this initiative!

“This is an exciting turning point for the national Harm Reduction Coalition that redefines the way we do our work. As the lead organization for the HepConnect initiative, we are committed to ensuring these resources generate maximum impact by reaching organizations and programs operating on the front lines. As the National Harm Reduction Coalition, we’ll bring our 25 year history of advocating alongside people who use drugs to deepen harm reduction work in Greater Appalachia centering the voices of people with lived experience.”

– Monique Tula, Executive Director


Want to hear about HepConnect updates and local initiatives in your state? Please be sure to sign up.

Request For Proposals

We’ll be releasing a Request For Proposals (RFP) the last week of June 2019. The funding categories will be related to the expansion of harm reduction services, community education initiatives, and organizing local convenings. We are creating the RFP based on themes we’ve heard through our state listening sessions, one on one consultations, and previous work in the five HepConnect initiative states to ensure that the funding opportunities is in alignment with community needs. Funds will be available to organizations and groups that offer services or activities in the five states: Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Do you want to shape what the application process looks like? Sign up for the webinar below!

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar for Grant Making

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019
9:30am – 10:30am PDT | 12:30pm – 1:30pm EDT

We’ll be releasing the HepConnect request for proposals at the end of June – do you think you may be applying? We want to hear from you on a webinar to share your best-and-worst experiences with submitting grants so we can make it as simple as possible. We will have a separate webinar once the request for proposals to walk through and answer questions of the actual RFP – this is to inform how set up the process.

The intention of this webinar is to hear from people who will be writing the grant applications – people who have never written a grant to full-time development directors are welcome

Upcoming Events

North Carolina:

North Carolina is at the center of the country’s devastating opioid crisis. As a result of the rise in opioid use, there has been a spike in new hepatitis C infections across the state. Today, there are nearly 110,000 North Carolinians living with HCV. Community leaders, healthcare providers and local officials have been on the front lines of addressing these issues for years. They are investing in proven and effective strategies to address the increasing HCV rates, rising overdoses and the health of people who use drugs, their families and the communities in which they live.

Join North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and other community partners on Thursday, June 13 for an engaging discussion to identify how state and federal policymakers, the private sector, public health advocates and community leaders can and must work together to address this growing public health crisis in our community: the Stockroom, 230 Fayetteville St, 2nd Floor, Raleigh, NC 27601. Doors open at 8:30 am. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

West Virginia:

West Virginia is at the center of the country’s devastating opioid overdose crisis. As a result of the rise in opioid use, there has been a spike in new hepatitis C across the state. Today, there are nearly 20,800 West Virginians living with HCV. Community leaders, healthcare providers and local officials have been on the front lines of addressing these issues for years. They are investing in proven and effective strategies to address the increasing HCV rates, rising overdoses and the health of people who use drugs, their families and the communities in which they live.

Join Harm Reduction Coalition and other community partners on Wednesday, June 5th for an engaging discussion to identify how state and federal policymakers, the private sector, public health advocates and community leaders can and must work together to address this growing public health crisis in our community.

Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, 2 Waterfront Place, Morgantown, WV 26501. Doors open at 10:30 am. Please RSVP here.

Past Events

Kentucky:

On April 25th we launched the HepConnect initiative in Louisville followed by a community listening session to hear from providers about funding priorities and needs.

Emma Roberts, Director of Capacity Building Services, launches HepConnect Kentucky
Donald Davis, Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition, panelist HepConnect launch
Community listening session following the launch

To read more about HepConnect in Kentucky, click here.

Indiana:

We held our second state launch, co-sponsored by Indiana Recovery Alliance, in Indianapolis on May 14th, drawing over 60 people to the event. Highlights included remarks from State Senator Jim Merrit and Gilead’s Derek Spencer, powerful testimony from Indiana Recovery Alliances Whitney Meeks, and an illuminating all women panel discussion with local leaders Dr Carrie Lawrence, Dr Alicia Suarez, Debra Stanley, Dr Erica Kaufman and Michelle Matern. Discussion topics ranged from the stigma and decriminalization of hepatitis C as well as drug use which prevent people from accessing care and treatment, the impact of racialized drug policies and innovative program designs including in rural settings

After the launch, we conducted two listening sessions including a small group of community stakeholders and later in the day a group of local county health department syringe service programs. These sessions will inform our future work in grant making and technical assistance.

Harm Reduction Coalition’s Emma Roberts with State Senator Jim Merritt and Derek Spencer from FOCUS, pictured outside ‘Larry’ Indiana Recovery Alliance’s outreach van
Whitney Meeks, Indiana Recovery Alliance
Harm Reduction Coalition’s Hiawatha Collins
All women panel, chaired by Harm Reduction Coalition’s Mike Selick

Tennessee:

On May 24th we were in Nashville for the HepConnect Tennessee state launch. Held at Vanderbilt University, the event was co-sponsored by Tennessee Recovery Alliance, Choice Health Network, Cempa Community Care, and Streetworks. Highlights included remarks from State Senator Jeff Yarbro and Dr. Jill Foster of Gilead Sciences. Tennessee Recovery Alliance Executive Director Sara Alese gave a powerful, thought-provoking testimony, followed by a panel discussion with local leaders Thomas Gooch, Dr. Stephen Loyd, Dr. Kelly Cooper, and Allison Sanders, moderated by Harm Reduction Coalition’s Executive Director, Monique Tula. Discussion topics ranged from the challenges faced by rural communities to the importance of collaboration to the need to address racial disparities experienced by people who use drugs in Tennessee.

Harm Reduction Coalition’s Executive Director, Monique Tula opening HepConnect in Tennessee
Sara Alese, Tennessee Recovery Alliance, shares her story on stigma, syringe access and urgent need to scale up harm reduction services for all that need it in Tennessee.
Harm Reduction Coalition’s ED, Monique Tula with State Senator Jeff Yarbro and Dr. Jill Foster
HepConnect panel chaired by Harm Reduction Coalition’s Executive Director, Monique Tula
Community listening session, facilitated by Harm Reduction Coalition’s Medical Director, Dr. Kim Sue

Jobs with HepConnect

We’re hiring for multiple positions to support the HepConnect initiative that are based in the five states. Please click here to review open positions.

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