The Yale Viral Hepatitis Program (YVHP) is a multidisciplinary group of physicians and health providers who are committed to the care and management of acute and chronic viral hepatitis by integrating the breadth of Yale’s expertise in patient care, education, and clinical and laboratory research. Since its origins Yale Digestive Diseases has sustained a 50-year tradition of excellence in liver research and patient care, and continues to bear a national and international influence on the study and treatment of liver disorders. As a partner of the Yale Liver Center (YLC)—one of only four NIH-sponsored liver research centers in the United States— it is the only center in Connecticut that offers comprehensive patient care for individuals with viral hepatitis.
The key to effective disease management of acute and chronic viral hepatitis is coordinated care among specialty trained physicians. The YVHP has close relationships with specialists in adult and pediatric gastroenterology, transplant hepatology, medical and transplant nephrology, transplant surgery, gastrointestinal pathology, diagnostic and interventional radiology, gastrointestinal surgery, rheumatology, OB/GYN, medical and surgical oncology, infectious diseases, the AIDS Care Program, psychiatry, and addiction medicine.
The Gastrointestinal Pathology program at Yale is the only subspecialty program in Connecticut, and provides expert consultative services for the most challenging liver pathology examinations in the region. The YVHP partners with Yale’s Nathan Smith Clinic in the management of patients with HBV/HIV and HCV/HIV co-infections, and with the Yale Liver Transplant Program in the pre and post-transplant evaluation and management of patients with liver cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.
The YVHP has four strategic arms, including:
- Education – providing formal education classes and individualized instruction sessions for patients with chronic hepatitis C infection prior to the initiation of antiviral therapy
- Treatment – maintaining strict standards of practice in treatment protocols and close coordination of care with referring physicians to provide the most advanced and scientifically based approaches to the management of viral hepatitis
- Research – ensuring the opportunity for patient access to novel approaches in the treatment of viral hepatitis and liver disorders through clinical trials
- Community Outreach – building relationships with the surrounding communities of Greater New Haven and Connecticut to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to promote screening and education
Among special services offered by this program are the following:
- Multidisciplinary patient care conferences held weekly
- Multidisciplinary liver pathology conferences held weekly
- Coordination with the liver and kidney transplantation programs
- Comprehensive procedural services for diagnostic and interventional GI endoscopy, percutaneous and transjugular liver biopsy, paracentesis, and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
- Formal mental health assessment for pre-treatment and on-treatment monitoring of co-morbid psychiatric disease
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
- Coordinated, individualized care of pediatric and adolescent patients
- Non-invasive approaches to the assessment of liver fibrosis