In July 2021, PAN launched the Hepatitis C Leadership Project Pilot program. We initially developed this peer-led initiative to bring together hepatitis C community leaders to model their skills and knowledge and inspire other BC community members to embark on their own leadership journeys. The pilot training program strengthened leadership skills by engaging those with lived experience of hepatitis in the spirit of community building, skills development through practice, and knowledge sharing. The program curriculum was designed to provide an interactive experience that combined learning material, group activities, peer connection, and additional resources. Under REACH, PAN staff members conducted an evaluation of the program and contributed to the development of the curriculum.
PAN’s Hepatitis C Leadership Pilot Program Coordinator Monte Strong commented,
There are truly exceptional leaders at the program table. Their open-mindedness, desire to grow, and demonstrate compassion makes it clear in my heart and mind how empowered they are to lead the change they want to see and experience. We are already witnessing evolved practice of collective action in the training, which to me is remarkable.
Some participants also shared their reflections on the training and how it will support them moving forward:
I feel that being strong allies to one another and standing in UNITY is important as a team in this leadership training. —Danita, Participant
I can already see that I have learned to communicate with others better by listening and assessing their demeanor to see where they’re coming from. —Janet, Participant
As a person who is already a leader, this project of knowledge is great and I can…better support them as well as those who may be struggling with living with Hepatitis C/HIV. —Tyler, Participant
PAN also created a visual summary of hepatitis C testing technologies during the process of developing the pilot training program, in collaboration with Dr. Sofia Bartlett from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and engaged community members. The visual resource is intended for community educators, peer support workers, healthcare practitioners, or anyone seeking more information about hepatitis C testing.
The importance of health literacy and knowledge translation
During the process of developing the visual resource summary, PAN and Dr. Bartlett identified knowledge translation as a concept that was fundamentally important for its purpose and creation. People with lived experience also identified health literacy as a key concept.
Building individual and community health literacy is dependent on building knowledge, awareness and skills. It emphasizes people’s ability to use health-related information instead of simply understanding it. When community-focused skills are put into practice that contributes to the larger purpose of creating community change.
Knowledge translation can be thought of as a process that converts knowledge and information that makes sense to one group of people into knowledge and information that makes sense to another.
These two concepts intersect because knowledge translation supports health literacy by encouraging relatability and comprehension of information for the audience who is strengthening their health literacy.
You can find more information about the Hepatitis C Leadership Pilot Program and download a PDF of the testing technologies visual summary on PAN’s website.
PAN is a REACH regional co-lead in BC. You can learn more about PAN’s work in research, evaluation, training, and leadership on the PAN site. You can also connect with the Program Coordinator, Monte Strong, at email@example.com.
We also acknowledge the Vancouver Foundation for their support of the Hepatitis C Leadership Project.