Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington, DC (HBI-DC), a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, was originally founded by Leslie Hsu Oh. While she was attending Harvard’s School of Public Health in 1997, Leslie Hsu Oh lost her mom and brother 1 year apart from each other because of hepatitis B. When she moved to Washington, DC, she and her husband, Thomas Oh (who also had family members affected by hepatitis B) established HBI-DC.
HBI-DC was established on October 25, 2006 and received its 501(c)3 status on June 13, 2007.
In 2009, Jane Pan was invited to be HBI-DC’s Executive Director and began building the foundation for a grassroots approach to collaborating with community leaders to provide hepatitis B education and screening. In 2013, HBI-DC began providing hepatitis C education and screening.
HBI-DC engages in activities that help promote positive change that affect the lives of high risk populations in the Washington, DC metro area through: 1) collaborative partnerships, 2) culturally and linguistically appropriate HBV and HCV outreach and education, 3) screening, 4) vaccination for HBV, 5) linkages to care, and 6) patient navigation services for impacted communities.
Who do we work with?
HBI-DC partners with community-based (CBOs) and faith-based organizations (FBOs) to design culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials for its target population. By working with CBOs and FBOs, HBI-DC is able to leverage to serve the target population as well as guarantee a good turn-out at education seminars and screening events. HBI-DC also works with local clinics to assist with linking patients to care and treatment services.
HBI-DC collaborates mostly with community-based organizations that serve niche communities, such as ethnic and faith-based community members. Most of these organizations are also grassroots volunteer-based organizations. HBI-DC works with over 25 different organizations each year, engaging their community leaders in outreach efforts to ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials.
HBI-DC also works with local health departments and clinics to coordinate free vaccinations for at-risk patients.
What do we do?
When patients have been identified as testing positive for hepatitis B, C, and/or HIV, HBI-DC will link them to care and/or treatment services. HBI-DC is fortunate to work with a handful of physicians in DC, MD, and VA who provide their services pro bono at our health screening events; these physicians are a part of HBI-DC’s leadership circle.
With these collaborations, HBI-DC is seen as a community connector for resources. Although, HBI-DC does not convene a formal coalition meeting for viral hepatitis in the DC metropolitan area, its approach in working with each community-based organizations and focusing on their specific needs in a timely manner have proven to been efficient and effective for the target community that it has been serving.