Placement: Weill Cornell Medical College
Mentor: Bruce Schackman, M.B.A., Ph.D., Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor; Executive Vice Chair, Department of Population Health Sciences; Director, Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH), Weill Cornell Medical College
Co-mentors: Shashi Kapadia, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Weill Cornell Medicine; Benjamin Eckhardt, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Project: Progress and Challenges in Eliminating Hepatitis C Virus by 2030: A Study of Two Health Care Models and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ane-Kristine Finbråten, M.D., Ph.D., is a 2021–22 Harkness/Norwegian Institute of Public Health Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. Finbråten is currently specializing in Infectious diseases at Ullevål Hospital and is a postdoctoral fellow at Unger Vetlesen Institute, focusing on the field of Hepatitis C. She is a founding member of The Centre for Elimination of Hepatitis C in Norway, a collaboration between Akershus University Hospital, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital, and Oslo University Hospital, and is passionate about advancing addiction medicine and delivering good health care to people who inject drugs. Finbråten is a primary investigator for a pragmatic clinical trial, “Opportuni-C,” Opportunistic Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus Infection, and previously served as an investigator on The NOR Solidarity multicenter trial on the efficacy of different antiviral drugs in SARS CoV-2 infected patients. She received both her Ph.D. (Clinical Medicine) and M.D. from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where she was part of the Medical Student Research Programme.
Project Overview: The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Sector Strategy aims to eliminate viral hepatitis (HCV) as a major public health threat by 2030. In high-income countries, Hepatitis C primarily affects people who inject drugs. Achieving the WHO targets for HCV elimination will require alternative models of care that effectively can engage vulnerable populations in treatment.
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has put significant strain on national health care systems and is likely to have consequences for other areas of public health. With 10 years remaining to meet the WHO targets, we are at a critical moment in eliminating Hepatitis C. As such, the primary aim of this research is to explore the impact of COVID-19 on regional HCV elimination efforts. The secondary aim is to investigate and compare two distinct patient-centered treatment models operating in different health care systems — one in the& city of Oslo, Norway, and one in New York, N.Y. — to understand the factors associated with lack of treatment uptake, poor adherence, and failure to achieve a cure.