Change Maker for good: The Economist recognises Hepatitis Victoria CEO Melanie Eagle
3 October 2017
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has recognised Hepatitis Victoria Chief Executive Officer Melanie Eagle as a ‘Change Maker’ and innovator for her advocacy efforts to support the hepatitis C community and eliminate the virus.
The EIU Change Makers programme recognises 18 innovators across the world doing exemplary work in the programme’s three thematic areas: multi-stakeholder approaches; screening; and technology.
“Their ground-breaking efforts can inspire and guide their peers on the path to HCV elimination. The programme also aims to spark debate and action on HCV policy and access to care,” the EIU said in a statement today.
Melanie has been recognised for her efforts in raising “…awareness of Hepatitis C amongst healthcare practitioners with online education tools, and amongst patients with a mobile app to assess liver health.”
“The idea behind HEPReady is to help these front-line professionals accelerate change. That might be reducing risk behaviours or encouraging people to get tested—or, if they know they have hepatitis, to get treatment,” she says. “We are trying to create the circumstances where they feel more confident to contribute.”
Hepatitis Victoria is also developing the LiverWell mobile app, which will help people assess their liver health and determine if they are at risk for hepatitis. The app, which is being built with input from patients, draws on popular web-based tools the organisation has created, HEPCheck and CARECheck.
This recognition of the technological innovation underway at Hepatitis Victoria comes at an exciting time for the organisation – which is just about to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Beginning as a support group for people with hepatitis C in 1992, the organisation has grown in its reach and remit. As Victoria’s peak organisation leading the response to hepatitis, it provides education, awareness raising, workforce development as well as driving policy and reform.
Hepatitis B was incorporated within the scope of the organisation programs some years ago, and looking forward, liver health more broadly will be receiving attention.