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Healthy Liver

The ByWard Family Health Team offers an outpatient service for assessment and treatment of Hepatitis C.  The Healthy Liver program is led by a Nurse Practitioner trained in HCV in collaboration with an Infectious Diseases Physician.

In Canada, an estimated 250, 000 people are living with hepatitis C (HCV). More than 25% of whom do not know they have it. In time, HCV can cause permanent liver damage, including cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. In North America, more people die of HCV than of AIDS, about 16,000 a year.

Most patients will not have any signs or symptoms of advanced liver fibrosis, many will only develop signs or symptoms in the decompensated liver cirrhosis stage. Patients with cirrhosis are at risk for liver cancer (HCC) and liver decompensation (ascites, variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, and jaundice).  Thanks to the development of new medications, Hepatitis C is easily curable, medications are now very well tolerated and safe. Cure reduces the risk of severe complications, even with cirrhosis.

What to Expect

  • Initial and pre-treatment visits will consist of specific labs and diagnostic tests related to liver health and HCV monitoring
  • Baseline fibroscan will be offered to all patients to determine the level of liver fibrosis and urgency for therapy
  • Counseling regarding the risks associated with alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs use with HCV
  • Vaccines related to optimal liver health are updated and offered if not immunized
  • Discussion of potential treatment options
  • Initiation of treatment
  • Treatment monitoring, as well as post-treatment follow up visits
  • Ongoing communication and collaboration with your family physician

How to Prepare

  • Bring a list of all medications you are taking including non-prescription drugs.
  • Bring a list of questions you have regarding HCV risk factors, screening and treatment.

How to Access

If you have rostered with a physician at the BWFHT you can join the Hepatitis C Program and have free access to the service. Call 613-564-3950 for more information or to book an appointment.  All patients rostered to the BWFHT have access to our allied health professionals.

The program accepts internal and external referrals for all patients with a diagnosis of Hep C or at high risk of acquiring the infection. The program focuses on providing preliminary staging, on-site treatment and on-going monitoring for Hep C. In addition, participants receive coordinated follow-up for drug coverage, adherence counseling, side-effect management and access to other FHT resources including consultation with the nurse practitioner, internal medicine specialist, clinical pharmacists and others. Urgent cases are sent to the Ottawa Hospital with a complete work-up for treatment.

The program accepts internal referrals for all patients with a diagnosis of Hep B. The program focuses on providing preliminary staging, on-site treatment and on-going monitoring for Hep B. In addition, participants receive access to other FHT resources including consultation with the nurse practitioner, internal medicine specialist, clinical pharmacists and others. Urgent cases are sent to the Ottawa Hospital with a complete work-up for treatment.

The program accepts internal referrals for all patients with a diagnosis of fatty liver. The program focuses on providing preliminary staging, counseling and on-going monitoring for fatty liver. In addition, participants receive access to other FHT resources including consultation with the nurse practitioner, internal medicine specialist, clinical pharmacists and others.

Note: BWFHT also accepts outside patients for consultation regarding Hepatitis C. Physicians can refer a patient via fax at 613-564-6627.

Led by a Nurse Practitioner, Daniel Julien, trained in HCV at The Ottawa Hospital and supported by an on-site Infectious Diseases Specialist, Dr. Maheen Saeed.

Hepatitis Test

As part of BWFHT’s “Healthy Liver Program”, if you were born from 1945-1975, and have never been tested for Hep C, you would have received a letter and requisition, via email or letter asking to get checked.

Where can I have a blood test?
You can go to any laboratory to have a blood test.

Do I need to fast prior to my blood test?
No

I don’t see my doctor’s name on the requisition, will they receive the results?
Yes, all results are automatically forwarded to your family physician.

Resources

Operated by Ontario Partners in Health
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