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The San Francisco Hep B Free Clinican's Honor Roll acknowledges primary care clinicians who have signed a pledge to screen patients at risk for chronic Hepatitis B infections in accordance with CDC guidelines. The goal is to have 90% of an estimated 1,500 primary care providers pledge.
This initiative is being tracked by Health Matters in San Francisco and is the only citywide health indicator that measures clinician awareness. It is being coordinated through the AsianWeek Foundation in partnership with Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health.
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In the fall of 2009, the San Francisco Hep B Free campaign began publication of the Hep B Free Clinician's Honor Roll to promote the growing number of doctor's offices that are testing patients and working to prevent liver cancer and Hepatitis B disease.
"It should be standard of care for all primary care physicians to screen and test Asian and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B," said Mitch Katz, MD, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "We want to highlight those who are already actively working to prevent hepatitis B in San Francisco; and to inspire other physicians to do the same."
"We applaud all those already on the SF Hep B Free Clinician's Honor Roll" he emphasized.
The list will be widely publicized among peers, patients and the public at large. It will run on a regular basis in publications including the San Francisco Medical Society Magazine, mainstream news outlets, digital media, and ethnic media such as Sing Tao Daily, Philippine News and AsianWeek.com.
Establishing the Clinician Honor Roll follows the release last year of new national screening guidelines for Hepatitis B established by the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. SF Hep B Free's goal is to have every primary care provider to routinely screen their patients for Hep B.
"As a doctor in a city where more than one third of residents are Asian, I always make it a priority to screen my Asian and Pacific Islander patients for hepatitis B, which gravely affects 1 in 10, and can lead to liver cancer and death," said Dr. Lisa Wing-Yee Tang, of Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. "I encourage my colleagues to screen as well. This is a disease that can be prevented and I am determined to do what I can to stop the spread of this disease." Tang chairs the SF Hep B Free Clinicians Outreach Committee.
The San Francisco Hep B Free Clinician Honor Roll includes any clinician who has completed a Patient Follow Up form from the San Francisco Department of Public Health Chronic Viral Hepatitis Registry before August 2009. Other physicians can join the Honor Roll by signing a pledge (1) to screen patients at risk for HBV infections in accordance with CDC guidelines, and (2) to respond to information requests from the SFDPH regarding patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Susan Fernyak, MD, Director of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, hopes the Honor Roll will include every eligible physician in San Francisco.
"We encourage all physicians serving adults - including obstetricians, gynecologists, and family practitioners, to sign the new pledge form as a commitment to collaborate with the San Francisco Department of Public Health in its efforts to prevent the transmission of hepatitis B in San Francisco," said Dr. Fernyak.
"San Francisco has the highest liver cancer rate in the nation, and if doctors make a conscious effort to screen for this disease, we can one day eradicate hepatitis B," added Dr. Tang.
The SF Hep B Free Honor Roll project is being coordinated through the AsianWeek Foundation in partnership with the SF Department of Public Health. For more information, email Angela Pang or call (415) 321-5894.