Earlier this year, Ryan Clary, a seasoned Coalition Consultant relaunched the Coalition for a TB-Free California (CTC). The CTC is made up of members, leaders, and representatives of communities most impacted by TB in California, and partners from California public health departments. Ryan joins us as an experienced infectious disease control and prevention advocate, specifically working on Hep C, HIV/AIDS coalitions. Ryan will work with the CTC to bring together partners, leading and serving those disproportionately impacted by TB in California to increase routine screening for TB risks, routine testing for those with a risk for TB, and encouraging routine treatment for those with TB before it makes them sick. Together, we can eliminate the threat of TB and create a TB-free California for all. Find out more and join the Coalition for a TB-free California.
On May 6th, CTCA hosted an open call for new and existing members of the coalition. In addition to public health program staff, the following groups were present: Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Islander Health Forum, Breathe California, Bridging Group (Corrections/health care advocacy), California Black Health Network, California Hepatitis Alliance, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Hepatitis C and Latino Health Programs, San Francisco Hep B Free, Urban Street Angels
During this first meeting, members discussed potential activities for the coalition. Partners wanted:
- access to brochures and fact sheets about TB for at risk individuals
- education for medical providers, like Project ECHO, focused on TB
- adaptation of the Hep B Coalition model for education, outreach and advocacy
- outreach to elected officials to keep them informed about TB; and
- more focus on the most vulnerable populations (e.g. those living in congregate settings such as prisons or jails)
And, on this call in May, a first relaunching action of the CTC was agreed upon, to educate California Delegates in Washington, D.C. about TB in their districts, and urging them to stay informed about TB by joining the Congressional Tuberculosis Elimination Caucus, co-chaired by Representative Ami Bera, MD (CA-07), Representative Don Young (AK-At Large), and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) to stay informed about TB. The bulk of this letter follows below:
In April, the California TB Controllers Association (CTCA) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) hosted a webinar for public health staff and partner organizations to share up to date information about the impact of disease on California and those most at-risk for TB. The following details were shared:
- 1,703 Californians were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2020.
- 84% of those diagnosed with tuberculosis in California in 2020 were born outside of the U.S.
- 52% identified as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander (AANHPI).
- There are more than 2 million individuals living with Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) and are likely unaware of it. A person with LTBI has no symptoms and is not contagious. However, LTBI can develop into active tuberculosis at any time.
- 85% of active tuberculosis diagnosed in California is due to LTBI progression, which is preventable.
- Preventing this deadly airborne infectious disease from threatening Californians requires identification and treatment of LTBI before it becomes active tuberculosis.
The coalition will meet monthly. If you’d like to be invited to future CTC meetings, please let us know through the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page.