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AASLD Curriculum & Training (ACT) Launches With New Interactive HCV Education

BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases ( today announced a new initiative to provide ongoing education and training to healthcare professionals treating liver diseases. AASLD Curriculum & Training (ACT) will deliver reliable information and instruction for the treatment of patients with a variety of liver diseases including viral hepatitis.

The first program to be released, ACT on HCV, A Practical Introduction to Treating HCV, includes five interactive modules with case-based discussions and real-life clinical scenarios. This program is designed to increase the competence of healthcare professionals who are new to providing care for patients with HCV.

"ACT on HCV is exactly what it sounds like! As the numbers of HCV-infected patients presenting in a range of clinical settings continues to grow, we need to be able to provide all of our healthcare professionals - who are not liver specialists - with the tools necessary for them to be able to manage and support their patients," said Sue Currie, AASLD Hepatology Associates Committee Task Force Chair. "AASLD is helping to address this need in a unique and innovative way, which ultimately benefits patients affected with HCV, but also the healthcare professionals in the field."

The CME/CE-certified modules are 30 to 45 minutes in length and are supplemented with pre- and post-test questions which help identify key topics and guide the learner to specific sections for study. Module topics include:

  • HCV Overview
  • HCV Genotyping and Predictors of Response
  • Patient Selection
  • Initiating HCV Treatment: The First 8 Weeks
  • Managing Side Effects of Therapy

"The modules in this program are designed to fit into the busy schedules of active healthcare providers," said HoChong Gilles, RN, MS, FNP-C, faculty for module one, HCV Overview. "The embedded interactive pre- and post-test questions make it easy to identify areas for further study and help newcomers to the HCV field build confidence in their management decisions."

This program is a fantastic opportunity to gain a useful understanding of current HCV diagnostic and treatment options," said Michael J. Surdy, PharmD, AAHIVP, author of module two, HCV Genotyping and Predictors of Response. "Through case-based discussions and real-life scenarios, participants will learn how to develop effective strategies for the care of patients with viral hepatitis C."

The program also includes a non-certified experiential component. Each qualified participant will identify a mentor or "Expert Resource" to provide additional direction and insight.

"In addition to the great content, this program provides healthcare professionals with a unique opportunity to receive one-to-one support from highly experienced experts," said Michelle Baytarian, PA-C, MMSc, faculty and presenter for module three, Patient Selection. "The involvement of these 'Expert Resources' reinforces the program subject matter from natural history to side effect management in our real-world settings."

If an expert is not immediately available to qualified participants, the AASLD program team will facilitate linkage to a volunteer mentor.

"By completing the five interactive modules and through mentoring from Expert Clinicians, the program lays the foundation to initiate treatment as appropriate," said Helen S. Yee, PharmD, author of module four, Initiating HCV Treatment: The First 8 Weeks.  "Thanks to the dedicated faculty and the unwavering support of the AASLD, healthcare professionals will gain valuable skills for identifying and assessing appropriate patients for therapy, developing customized treatment plans, promoting patient adherence, and managing adverse effects."

"Recent advances in HCV treatment make this an incredibly exciting time to be involved in fighting hepatitis C," said Michele Wetmore, MSN, ANP-BC, NP-C, author of module five, Managing Side Effects of Therapy. "I know that all of us who worked on the program are looking forward to feedback from participants regarding the curriculum, their experiences, and future training needs."

ACT on HCV is a dynamic program that will empower additional front-line and mid-level providers with the latest data and insights on treatment of HCV. Participants who successfully finish the curriculum can receive a certificate of completion and will be notified about future programs.

"ACT on HCV is a unique training program designed to address service gaps and increase the US treatment provider capacity to offer clinical HCV treatment and services," said Joy Peter, RN, chair of the Hepatology Associates Committee.  "Through the phase I didactic, modular learning program and upcoming peer-to-peer mentored training, ACT on HCV will offer novice providers the educational platform to comfortably diagnose HCV and approach managing treatment."

"The AASLD is already a recognized source of reliable information and resources for clinicians involved in the treatment of liver diseases," said Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, MD, President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. "With the launch of ACT on HCV we hope to extend that impact beyond the existing membership and increase support for non-specialists in their efforts to improve the quality of care they provide."

This program is offered free of charge for educational purposes to healthcare professionals and others interested in the treatment of patients with hepatitis C.

AASLD is the leading medical society focused solely on advancing the science and practice of hepatology and represents more than 3,300 practitioners, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD has upheld the standards of the profession and fostered research that generates treatment options for the millions of patients with liver diseases.

Press releases and additional information for the media are available online at

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna

SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
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