Notes From The Road
4 months have passed since I last posted. Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Years have come and gone. I've been to Plumas, Lassen, Modoc, Tehama, and Shasta Counties.
With all this moving about, I've found it hard to keep the inspiration to maintain this website. When I started out, my blogging was fueled with enthusiasm as I set out to build a new approach to building infrastructure to treat and cure hepatitis C (HCV). Isn't that how it always goes? We start with great fire in our belly- like super-heroes. That fire still burns bright, but it is now tempered with 2.5 years of experience being on the road, having visited so many new cultures and communities. My work with UCSF ECHO will end in June of 2020, and I'm pondering what's next. My great hope is to take my work back to Appalachia- more specifically, western North Carolina. It's part of the hotbed of the opioid and meth epidemic, and where these things are, the incidence of HCV is very high.
My life is changed as a result of this work- these last 4 years since I was cured of HCV have been in pursuit of a great cause. That is, helping small communities get involved in micro-elimination of this deadly but curable disease. My fervor is matured and I seek to grow my efforts, hiring staff, implementing the lessons I've learned.
I'm working in Shasta County now- the largest county of all I've visited. Thus far, the providers and healthcare organizations I've engaged with are interested and programs around awareness, education, and treatment are in the works. I think it will take some time to make full sense of this experience- what I've learned, who I've evolved into. In the meantime, there's still work to be done, and I know how to do it.