Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

March 2016

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

May 2013 – September 2015

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health concern across the United States, especially in New York State.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that 2.7–3.9 million Americans are living with HCV, with as many as 75% unaware that they are infected. HCV is preventable and curable, yet it is estimated that fewer than 10% of patients with HCV have received treatment.

To improve HCV treatment and management, NYHealth awarded Mount Sinai School of Medicine a grant to create a state-of-the-art, innovative Web-based application to help primary care providers engage patients with HCV through teleconsulting and telemonitoring. The project is modeled after the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) initiative at the University of New Mexico, which uses video-conferencing to train primary care providers.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Developed and launched HepCure (www.hepcure.org), a mobile app for patients and an online toolkit for providers for the care and treatment of HCV. The patient app has had a total of 544 downloads since its launch in November 2015. In addition to Mount Sinai providers employing the toolkit, seven sites have signed business agreements to begin using HepCure, and a total of 30 providers have registered;
  • Trained 50 providers on how to use HepCure to effectively screen, evaluate, and treat patients;
  • Implemented an ongoing tele-education webinar series through the HepCure website that allows providers and patients to discuss and learn about issues related to HCV treatment. The weekly series has hosted 53 webinars since it launched in February 2015 (with 1,202 registrants to date), and webinars are archived for future viewing;
  • Conducted site visits at major health networks and community health centers; and
  • Partnered with Community Health Care Association of New York State and the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute to pilot the project and implement the toolkit within five federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and two non-FQHCs to date, where providers had limited experience in screening for and treating HCV.

Mount Sinai is building upon the HepCure pilot project to expand and improve HCV prevention, screening, diagnosis, and linkage to treatment in all FQHCs and other institutions across the State.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: Supplemental funding has been obtained from Merck Company Foundation ($63,966), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals ($50,000), and Gilead Foundation ($50,000). Mount Sinai has also dedicated $63,000 of its $1.9 million site budget toward HepCure from a 3-year $9.9 million health care innovation award from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Additionally, Mount Sinai received funding from the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute for HepCure to be used over the next two years (2016–18) for a total of $300,000 ($150,000 a year).