HepConnect Initiative to Expand Harm Reduction & Community Education – U.S.


Deadline: 31 July 2019

Harm Reduction Coalition is the lead organization for the Support Harm Reduction & Community Education component of the HepConnect Initiative. The overarching goal of the project is to advance hepatitis C prevention for people who inject drugs by expanding harm reduction services and education through grant-making and technical assistance.

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Harm Reduction Coalition will be funding up to $6 million in grants over an initial 18-month period that support the expansion of harm reduction approaches to reduce the impact of hepatitis C and drug-related harms in the greater Appalachia region. They are seeking proposals that will build upon local expertise, uplift the voices and priorities of people who use drugs, and center racial justice.

The United States is experiencing rising rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, fueled by the nation’s growing opioid crisis. This issue is particularly acute in greater Appalachia, where the increase in injection drug use has led to a more than three-fold rise in HCV infection rates. In response to the intersecting opioid and HCV epidemics, Gilead Sciences launched HepConnect, a new five-year, multi-million-dollar initiative to help address the increase in HCV infections and support community partnerships in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. HepConnect has three areas of focus:

  • Expanding Screening & Linkage to Care,
  • Support Harm Reduction & Community Education, and
  • Activating Healthcare Infrastructure.

Program Categories

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There are two categories of funding available for the “Expand Harm Reduction & Community Education” Initiative:

  • Provide – Providing new or expanded harm reduction services for people who inject drugs
  • Educate – Offering new strategies to engage, educate, and mobilize the community to build support for harm reduction

Grant Information

  • Grant Amount: Requests may range from $25,000 to $150,000 for each category
  • Grant Period: September 15, 2019 to March 15, 2021 (18 months)

Examples of Activities

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Examples of Activities Funded Under Each Category

  • Provide: May include funding for…
    • Harm reduction supplies (syringes, injecting equipment, safer smoking equipment, overdose prevention materials including naloxone)
    • Staff and consultant positions
    • Expanding harm reduction service hours, locations, and communities reached
    • Mobile vans for rural outreach
    • Additional services such as counseling, case management, and patient navigation
    • Targeted outreach to specific communities, including communities of color, LGBTQIA+, people who engage in sex work, etc.
    • Peer program models to create paid positions for people with livedexperience to provide services to new or expanded communities
    • Training and professional development for team members to increase skills and leadership

NOTE: Funded activities may not include the direct provision of HCV treatment.

  • Educate: May include funding for…
    • Public education campaigns on harm reduction strategies and anti-stigma
    • Staff positions to support community education and engagement
    • Starting regional coalitions or professional networks to support harm reduction strategies
    • Community mobilization roles to organize people who use drugs
    • Initiatives to build support for harm reduction among sectors of the community, including people in recovery, faith communities, parent groups, law enforcement, social service providers, public officials, businesses, etc.

Eligible Organizations

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Organizations, coalitions, or groups with a 501(c)3 non-profit status or a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)3 status that offer services in the five HepConnect initiative states (IN, KY, TN, WV, NC); local and state health departments and other government entities are eligible to apply. They encourage partnerships between organizations to submit applications together where appropriate. Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.

Selection Process

Harm Reduction Coalition will convene a review panel to assess proposals to assess quality, potential impact, priority, and role in the larger HepConnect initiative.

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How to Apply

Applicants should submit their proposals via email at the address given on the website, with the subject line “HepConnect Initiative Grant Application”.

For more information, please visit https://harmreduction.org/hepatitis-c/hepconnect-grants/?fbclid=IwAR1wLPMYX7D-JaZ_nXl_hw6hrbS5rhCMPadSqmq4A1uUREafN1EroC1eCks

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