Since the beginning of 2017, our team has been involved with the Strong Hearts program, which was implemented at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center as a screening and referral program for Chagas disease. Using this model, we intend to support the roll out of similar screening programs in other communities in the United States with high-risk populations.
The goal of the INSECT study is to improve awareness and knowledge of Chagas disease among healthcare providers throughout the United States. As part of a 5-year cooperative agreement funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), co-PIs Natasha Hochberg, MD, MPH and Maja Carrion, MPH, and co-investigator David Hamer, MD aim to bolster Chagas knowledge in the medical community and roll out screening programs for high-risk populations. One particular population of interest is women of childbearing age.
In order to implement an effective screening program for Chagas, the study team is conducting a series of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with healthcare providers to understand any barriers to implementation and to gain insights on effective educational activities within a clinical space. In addition, the team is working to create materials that can be shared with other healthcare providers to implement screening throughout the U.S. If you’re interested in any of these materials, please look at our Resources page for more information.