The Hepatitis Education Project was started in 1993 by a group of patients and medical professionals who wanted to provide support and education to others living with chronic hepatitis. Starting as just a single support group, the Hepatitis Education Project formally incorporated in April 1994. From that initial group, HEP began helping other people start their own hepatitis support groups, providing them with technical assistance and support.
At the same time the support group meetings were starting, HEP began printing a newsletter, HEPNews. Copies of the newsletter were sent to patients and to physicians who specialized in gastroenterology and infectious diseases. From an initial mailing of 35 or 40 copies, the newsletter mailing grew to over 250 by the end of the first year. Today our quarterly newsletter goes out to about 4,000 people around the U.S.
In February of 2000, HEP opened one of the only Hepatitis Resource Centers in the country, a walk-in and telephone support center for hepatitis patients and family members. Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, this center has provided counseling and support to thousands of patients since it opened and continues to provide much needed help today.
Some of HEP's other programs include working with local, state and federal legislators and agencies to advocate on behalf of hepatitis patients; offering free rapid hepatitis C testing and vaccination for hepatitis A and B; medical case management; and conducting educational programs for public health, community groups and corrections of youth and adults
The Hepatitis Education Project is committed to providing support, education, advocacy and direct services for people affected by hepatitis and to helping raise hepatitis awareness among patients, medical providers and the general public.