Northwest AHEC Practice Support would like to celebrate great work going on in its seventeen-county region. Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley in Elkin, NC was one of six Free and Charitable Clinics nationally that received funding from grantee: Becton, Dickenson and Company (NYSE:BDX) to provide multi-year diagnostic testing. This initiative which began in 2017 is called Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness (PoCECE) program. The PoCECE program provides a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) waived point-of-care test system consisting of instruments, reagents and quality control to perform the following tests: Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides, Macroscopic Urinalysis, Microalbumin, INR, Hemoglobin A1c, Strep A, HIV, Rapid Hepatitis C, Pregnancy, Flu A & B, and RSV. The grants also include technical support consisting of standard operating procedures, equipment setup and configuration, competency training and documentation.1
Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley used this funding to test 56 patients for Hepatitis C, a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). If untreated, chronic HCV can cause serious health problems including liver cancer and cirrhosis. Patients with HCV may have no symptoms until the infection has caused advanced liver disease2. Through this screening program, Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley found seven patients who screened positive for HCV, five of whom were asymptomatic. These individuals are now in the process of obtaining further care and evaluation for their newly identified Hepatitis C.