Programming Connection

Ontario Hepatitis C Team: The Ottawa Hospital and Regional Hepatitis Program 

The Ottawa Hospital

What is the Program?

The Ottawa Hospital and Regional Hepatitis Program is one of the 15 hepatitis C teams funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. The Hepatitis Program serves the City of Ottawa and the surrounding area.

The Hepatitis Program provides specialized care from physicians, including infectious disease specialists, a hepatologist and a psychiatrist; clinic-based and outreach nurses; a psychologist; a pharmacist; and clinic-based and outreach social workers. There is also a strong hepatitis C research program, which allows some clients to access treatments through clinical trials.

The program’s multidisciplinary team focuses on providing hepatitis treatment for clients who face barriers to care, including those co-infected with HIV and those experiencing mental illness, substance use, poverty and language barriers. The Hepatitis Program also emphasizes engaging youth, Aboriginal peoples and people who may have spent time in prison.

This case study describes two programs within the Hepatitis Program that were developed to further reduce barriers to care for clients. The Community Liaison Program, staffed by an outreach social worker, builds partnerships with community-based organizations to provide community-based hepatitis services to clients in Ottawa who may experience barriers to hospital-based care. The Telemedicine Program, staffed by a full-time outreach nurse and supported by a physician, provides access to hepatitis services to clients living outside of Ottawa.