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2022 Annual NYS Hepatitis C & Drug User Health Conference-Day2


Published Date: 12/02/2022

Expiration Date: 09/22/2025

CE Credit: CME:3CNE: 3CPE: 3


This two-part training series from the 2022 annual New York State Hepatitis C and Drug User Health conference overviews best practices and new approaches in hepatitis C and drug user health care in New York State. Part two includes the following five sessions:

  • The State of Addiction Services and Supports in New York
  • Hepatitis C in New York State, Progress towards Elimination
  • Rapid Hepatitis C Treatment Initiation
  • A Case Study on Buprenorphine Telemedicine, Best Practices and Lessons Learned from REACH Medical
  • Low Threshold Urine Toxicology, A Case-based Discussion


Effective June 27, 2023 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a one-time requirement of 8 hours of training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders for practitioners who are applying for or renewing their DEA license. This 1-hour ACCME-accredited course meets the DEA/SAMHSA requirement.


Chinazo Cunningham,MD, MS

Chinazo Cunningham, MD, MS is a physician, researcher, and public health professional who brings over 20 years of expertise in substance use treatment to OASAS. Prior to joining OASAS, she served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner of Mental Hygiene at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was a practicing physician at Montefiore Health System, and a Professor of Medicine, Family and Social Medicine, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Cunningham has more than 20 years' experience in research, care, and program-development that focuses on people who use drugs. She has also partnered with community-based organizations to develop pioneering programs to promote the health of this population. Dr. Cunningham led one of the first clinics in New York City to integrate buprenorphine into primary care. She has trained hundreds of doctors to treat substance use disorders in primary care. She has also led several research studies and published numerous research articles that focus on treating substance use disorders.

Colleen Flanigan,RN, MS

Colleen Flanigan currently serves as the Director of the Bureau of Hepatitis Health Care and Epidemiology at the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute. Ms. Flanigan has been involved in hepatitis C-related work for two decades. She directs the hepatitis C programmatic and policy work and the hepatitis B and C surveillance activities for New York State. Ms. Flanigan is also responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the NYS Hepatitis C Elimination Plan.

Christine Kerr,MD, AAHIVS

Christine Kerr, MD, AAHIVS, is an infectious disease specialist and a virtual clinician with Galileo Health. She is a Chair Emerita of the Guidelines for Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus for the New York State AIDS Institute/Johns Hopkins University and the Community Co-Chair of the New York State Task Force for the Elimination of Hepatitis C Virus. .

Annette Gaudino,

Annette Gaudino, consultant and former US and Global Health Policy Co-Director at Treatment Action Group (TAG), played a leading role in the initial drafting of HCV elimination recommendations, which helped catalyze the Governor’s Statewide HCV Elimination Task Force, where she served on the Data and Metrics working group. Annette served on the AIDS Institute Substance User Health Clinical Guidelines Committee, co-founded the Viral Hepatitis Diagnostics Working Group and is a member of the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership. 

Nadine Kela-Murphy,MPH

Nadine Kela-Murphy, MPH has been with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2014 and has contributed to public health research and program implementation projects in viral hepatitis elimination, HIV/AIDS prevention, homeless services delivery, and reproductive health promotion. Since 2017, Nadine oversees quality improvement projects to expand clinical capacity of acute-care hospitals, community-based health centers and drug treatment programs for the screening and treatment of people with hepatitis B or C. Prior to joining the Health Department, Nadine worked for 7 years at Forest Laboratories (now Allergan) where she worked as marketing and policy analyst for prescription drugs used for the treatment of depression, hypertension, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Amanda Clay,

Amanda Clay is the HCV Program Associate at Vocal-NY. For the past three years her role at Vocal includes Hepatitis C testing and care coordination on an innovative model project in partnership with Mount Sinai. Amanda has a love and passion for helping people and has worked in a variety of different healthcare settings.

Benjamin J. Eckhardt,MD

Benjamin Eckhardt, MD received his MD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at NYU. After completing residency, he worked in Rwanda for Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima with a clinical appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He returned to New York to complete his fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College while concurrently receiving a MS in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research. He joined the faculty at NYU/Bellevue in 2016 with a clinical focus in HIV and hepatitis management.

Benjamin’s research interest focus is on studying models of care to improve health outcomes of people who inject drugs. His current work includes, evaluating low-threshold HCV treatment models specifically geared toward marginalized people who inject drugs, and understanding the injection risk behaviors associated with severe bacterial infections and improving their long-term clinical (infection and substance use disorder) and injection behavior outcomes.

Samara Touchton,FNP-C, CARN-AP

Samara Touchton, FNP-C, CARN-AP, works as a provider for primary care and Addiction Medicine at REACH Medical. She also works with Cayuga Health Center as a hospitalist and in the development of an Addiction Medicine hospital based consult service. Samara also serves on the Tompkins County Health Department Advisory Board and has been a nursing clinical instructor in the surrounding communities. 

Kelly Ramsey,MD, MPH, MA, FACP, DFASAM

Kelly S. Ramsey, MD, MPH, MA, FACP, DFASAM, is an internal medicine physician who has treated substance use disorders since 2004. She is board certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine, and holds an MPH (Master of Public Health) in epidemiology and an MA (Master of Arts) in bioethics. Dr. Ramsey’s most recent professional role was Chief of Medical Services at the New York State Office for Addiction Services and Supports. She has provided expert advice to the New York State (NYS) Department of Health AIDS Institute for over a decade, serving on numerous committees. She also serves as President for the NYSAM (New York Society of Addiction Medicine) Board of Directors; sits on the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) National Board of Directors as the Region I Director, representing NYS; and serves as a Council Board Member for NYACP (NY Chapter of the American College of Physicians). Dr. Ramsey is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and a Distinguished Fellow of ASAM. In 2017, Dr. Ramsey was an ACP Laureate Award Recipient, awarded to “members, who have demonstrated by their example and conduct, an abiding commitment of excellence in medical care, education, or research, and in service to their community, their region, and the ACP.” In 2018, she was the recipient of the NYS Department of Health Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award for contributions to drug user health in NYS in 2018. And in 2023, Dr. Ramsey received the ACP's Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Medicine Award for “distinguished contribution to the integration of behavioral medicine with traditional medicine. This award recognizes an individual who has furthered the care of patients by recognizing the importance of caring for the whole patient, both mind and body.” 

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss clinical updates and New York State guidelines related to hepatitis C and drug user health.
  • Describe methods to increase capacity to provide high-quality hepatitis C care and treatment.
  • Describe methods to increase capacity to provide high-quality drug user health care.
  • Identify and disseminate current best practices for hepatitis C and drug user health among New York State-based medical providers.

Continuing Education Credit Information