On a misty July morning at a community clinic, healthcare workers gathered in a conference room to take a look at the big picture.
Every day Cabin Creek Health Center in Dawes, West Virginia, treats patients in the community 30 minutes outside the capital city of Charleston. And trends are emerging that require a coordinated effort. Widespread heroin addiction has triggered a rise in hepatitis C through shared needle use. It’s difficult for local residents to reach specialists. And poverty affects transportation, nutrition, mental health — everything.
“Hepatitis C, if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to be a public health nightmare,” said Amber Crist, director of education and program development at Cabin Creek Health Systems. “And I don’t just mean we here at Cabin Creek, but as a state I think it’s something that we really need to be focusing on.”