News Grants

Marks and McCrary receive funding from Gilead to expand blood-borne virus (HIV, HBV, HCV) screenings and linkage to care

Laura Marks, MD, Ph.D., and Madeline McCrary, MD, assistant professors of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have received a FOCUS grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. to improve the rates of HIV, HCV, and HBV screenings and linkage to care. In the U.S., the FOCUS Program is a public health initiative that enables partners to develop and share best practices in routine blood-borne virus screening, diagnosis, and linkage to care in accordance with screening guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and state and local public health departments. 

The funding will be used to implement lessons learned from Washington University’s previous FOCUS award supporting youth services through Project ARK. Doctors Marks and McCrary will expand a targeted testing approach and rapid linkage to care to inpatients at Barnes Jewish Hospital (BJH) who are over 18 years of age with substance use disorder.  

Laura Marks, MD

“The Bridge to Health program has continued to improve its rate of successful linkage to care for at-risk patients who are screened for blood-borne viruses during inpatient hospitalizations. And now, with this funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc., we can leverage inpatient hospital admissions to help improve testing and linkage to care for patients who would have easily fallen through the cracks.”

The project will be administered in collaboration with the university’s Bridge to Health Program, which is at the forefront of engaging patients with histories of current or past substance use disorder in getting screened for infectious diseases so they might ultimately have better outcomes. The program will implement an EMR-integrated best practice advisory at the hospital and will support patient education, and a nurse navigator-driven protocol to connect patients to care after diagnosis.