IBM Partners with Louisiana to Fight Hepatitis C - Rebekah Gee
Rebekah Gee, the former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health is driven by her passion to provide equitable healthcare to all. As a policymaker for positive change she co-created a unique community-based approach to Hepatitis C that will aid in eradicating this epidemic. The state of Louisiana partnered with IBM to bring this ‘first of its kind’ policy to life.
Rebekah spoke on the process and the future ahead:
“We have this intense pressure to cure and solve and to go forward. At the Department of Health we had a real sense of urgency. The price of the drugs that treat and cure Hepatitis C were way too high.
“So, how do we create a new equation that allows us to cure everyone?
“IBM approached us and asked ‘how can we help?’ What IBM does best is technology solutions and so together, we solved this issue.
“What we came up with was to have patients who have already been cured, help educate others and empower others to get treated as well.
“It’s a really simple model and what we hope to do here in Louisiana is show everyone how it’s done. There’s an endless possibility of ways we can allow this design thinking, allow this community-based and community-informed solution to help us solve even bigger challenges.
“Through this model we can put this disease behind us as a nation; similarly to what we did with Polio in years past.
“We are proud to be the very first state in the nation to have a subscription model that allows us to have unlimited access for Hepatitis C cure. It will save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few decades because we will be able to avoid costly complications because of Hepatitis C.”
Paul Woods IBM Client Executive of Louisiana noted, “Innovation requires risk, it requires boldness. Secretary Gee was willing to take that risk.”
Read the original article and watch the video here.
Visionary physician and leader - "It always seems impossible until it's done" - Rebekah Gee