ReACH Assistant/ Associate/Professor Opening

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ReACH Coordinator Position

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ReACH Director, Dr. Barbara J. Turner featured on Texas Public Radio's Texas Standard

On Friday, March 31st, Dr. Barbara J. Turner, the Director of the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) will be featured on the Texas Public Radio show Texas Standard to discuss a recently published study that looks at how much the Hispanic community knows about chronic pain.  Dr. Turner and her team conducted a population-based survey representing 8.8 million Hispanic residents of five Southwestern states who did not have chronic pain.  The data from this study reveal serious gaps in knowledge about chronic pain including misunderstanding about relying on narcotics to treat the disease. This is the first study to reveal poor knowledge about chronic pain in a large population of Americans and reinforces the urgency of launching a broad-based educational campaign about chronic pain and its care. 

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World Hepatitis Day is reminder to screen, treat baby boomers

World Hepatitis Day Logo

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, and ReACH Center director Barbara J. Turner MD, MSEd., has a message for the generation most affected by hepatitis C, the baby boomers. Her mantra is the age-old adage: An ounce is prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has endorsed one-time screening of all baby boomers (born 1945-1965) for hepatitis C because 75 percent of the estimated 2 million to 3 million persons with chronic infection are in this age range,” Dr. Turner says.
Because of new combination therapies available today, baby boomers who are screened and found to have hepatitis C virus infection have a very high chance (better than 90 percent) of being cured of the disease. Prevention is important, because chronic hepatitis C infection can severely damage the liver, leading to liver failure, and is a common cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
Dr. Turner is professor in the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio, and is founding director of the Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) Center.
“In the United States, millions of Americans have been infected by hepatitis C virus, but fewer than half have been diagnosed,” Dr. Turner says. “The consequences of failing to diagnose and treat the infection can be severe. In the next two decades, 1 million Americans are predicted to die from hepatitis C virus-related complications including cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma unless treatment is provided.”
A recent paper by Dr. Turner and co-authors describes psychological, emotional and social challenges of people coping with a hepatitis C diagnosis and who have poor knowledge of and barriers to obtaining supportive care.
ReACH has three preventive hepatitis C screening and linkage-to-care programs across South Texas. Two are funded by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a section 1115 waiver, while the third receives support through the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Through these projects and a previous project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 primary care practices are screening, diagnosing and treating persons with hepatitis C virus. Most of these practices treat low-income, primarily Hispanic patient populations, with emphasis placed on education, care navigation and treatment with all oral, highly-effective therapies. Overall, more than 35,000 baby boomers have been screened through these programs and, when diagnosed with hepatitis C virus, can receive care to be cured. 
Please read this related story from UT Health San Antonio’s news archive: White House recognizes South Texas hepatitis C control efforts