Hepatitis Support Program

Program Description

The Hepatitis Support Program (HSP) in Edmonton provides comprehensive care to Northern Albertans with hepatitis C and hepatitis B infections. Physicians from both Infectious Diseases and Gastroenterology & Hepatology participate in this program, with a Medical Lead representing each Division. There are six program nurses as well as a dedicated social worker and clerical staff for the program.

The Infectious Diseases Division accepts referrals from physicians, from other health care providers (e.g. nurse clinicians, public health professionals), and as self-referrals. The program has been operating since 2003, with an average of about 600 referrals yearly to the ID section.

Nurses triage referrals, coordinate baseline investigations prior to the physician visit, are trained in the non-invasive assessment of hepatic fibrosis using FibroScan®, and follow patients on antiviral therapy. Nurses and the social worker also provide education and counseling, including the need for vaccination against hepatitis A and B and as needed, harm reduction, and access to mental health and addiction services. After completion of baseline investigations, patients are seen by physicians at the University of Alberta and Royal Alexandra Hospitals as well as the Boyle McCauley Health Centre.

The ID Division is actively involved in clinical trials in viral hepatitis and potentially eligible patients are presented with the opportunity to participate as trials begin. The ID HSP also provides core training in viral hepatitis to our University of Alberta ID Subspecialty Residents and offers an elective rotation (generally 2-4 weeks) to other medical residents or interested physicians.

Medical Lead (ID):

Dr. Stephen Shafran
Division of Infectious Diseases
1-135 Clinical Sciences Building
Email: sshafran@ualberta.ca
Phone: 780-492-3319

Medical Lead (GI):

Dr. Winnie Wong
Division of Gastroenterology
1-24B Zeidler Ledcor
Email: winnie.wong@ualberta.ca
Phone: 780-492-8134

Program Secretary:

Wendy Thomas-Charway
3A1.05, Kaye Edmonton Clinic
Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z1
Phone: 780-407-1650
Fax: 780-407-8659