The Hep B Project is an organization with a defined goal of challenging an issue that is present in the community: Prominence of Asian Pacific Islanders without adequate, culturally-competent, and free hepatitis B services.
To eliminate hepatitis B, The Hep B Project follows a unique three-pronged approach.
To Educate: All events should have a proponent of education to it. Although increasing our patient numbers is important, education must come before anything else. First, all patients should be educated of what hepatitis B is and why it is important for them to get tested if they have not already done so. Patients who are tested without proper knowledge are not receiving the whole package; patients should leave The Hep B Project with more than a test result. As such, it is important that all volunteers be informed about hepatitis B and the services we offer for effective outreaching. In our efforts to increase hepatitis B knowledge to the cultural database in the community and demystify false information about the disease, we must never forget to teach and be taught. Second, to improve ourselves, project members must be receptive to advice from medical advisers and community leaders and be willing to share this information by outreaching to potential patients as well as others who can propagate our efforts. Lastly, the team should seek to teach each other. The coordinators are present to help guide you in your efforts to contribute to our cause. You can be a mentor to others as well, whether it is to newly joined volunteers or peers you see outside the project.
To Screen: Patient data should be treated with caution. Guidelines to whether an individual should be screened needs to be followed unless amended by the entire group. Our mission is to screen the population of individuals who are at high risk to hepatitis B, do not have insurance, and are underserved. Individuals should be encouraged to take charge of their own health and be screened for this preventable disease.
To Vaccinate and Follow-Up: Patients should be treated with respect. We should always highly recommend vaccination to naïve patients, but we should not force anything upon them. Proper follow-up procedures should come after vaccinations. All patient data is confidential and should be treated with care.
The Hep B Project volunteers are carefully selected individuals with the passion to carry on a project that continually gives back to the community. Every Hep B Project member should be capable of being a leader. First, they should be able to understand the project in its fullest. Second, members should develop their own opinions towards improving and reforming the project. Finally, after proposing the problems with the organization, they should take initiative to form a concrete plan of action, figure out the likely participants (Leadership Committee officers, community leaders, translating volunteers) to involve, and what resources to research and utilize.
The Leadership Committee (LC) is a board of ten students who exist to better serve your experience in the project. However, there should be no difference between the potential of a Leadership Committee member versus the potential of a volunteer. The leadership roles are only there as a point of contact, not as solutions. Individual volunteers are encouraged to come up with projects and accomplish them on their own. The LC may oftentimes be preoccupied with routine duties to an extent that they might not have the time to improve on existing systems. In a sense, the LC is a safety net to accomplish tasks that volunteers might not be willing to do consistently. Thus, we hope that the volunteers can help the LC and the project by becoming the foundation for the project’s goals while gaining valuable leadership experience. You, however, as a volunteer, are given free rein to decide how involved you want to be in the project, and the LC is always available to answer any questions you may have and to provide the resources you might need to accomplish your own vision for the project.
Nonetheless, there is a hierarchical system established due to the rapid expansion of the project. There is the director, the LC, and the volunteers. The importance of having a checks and balance system must be emphasized. The LC is far from perfect, and any feedback the members are able to share with the officers would be much appreciated.
Project members should be realistic about the time that they are able to invest in the project and the commitments that they can handle. Members should take on the responsibility of projects and tasks that they are personally interested in following through; otherwise, their lack of interest harms both themselves and the project. Members are the ones who determine the extent of their own individual experiences with The Hep B Project.
Members should be prompt with communications. If they are too preoccupied at the moment to handle an urgent matter, they should let the sender, whether it is a fellow student or community member, know that they will address the issue as soon as they are available.
Use your resources wisely: Be financially aware and responsible. All members should realize that that the project’s budget is limited and should only resort to using funds from the project if it is absolutely necessary. The majority of the money the project has should be saved for screening and related medical and clinic supplies.
Outreach is an important component to the project. The project should aim to reach out to the community and community partners that can help expand our project, and be welcoming to others who would benefit from our expertise. Members should be responsible and treat relationships with other community organizations with respect. We are sharing a cause; sharing resources is therefore appropriate.
Follow the book, accordingly: we have developed systems to increase organization and proficiency. To maintain order within the project, certain rules should be followed. However, members should always remember that we are the ones who wrote the book, and not be afraid to be creative and find ways to improve what we already have. Members may change the rules after careful consideration of what best benefits the project and reflects its current needs.