HONOReform (Hepatitis Outbreaks' National Organization for Reform) began as a response to a tragedy. Evelyn McKnight and 98 other cancer patients in rural Fremont, Nebraska, were infected with hepatitis in 2001. The cause? Healthcare providers failed to follow injection safety practices when providing treatment.
Far from an isolated event, the Nebraska outbreak is one of 35 documented outbreaks in non-hospital settings in America between 1998-2008. Patients from all walks of life who were receiving care for multiple conditions in a wide variety of health care settings have been infected with bloodborne pathogens, including HCV (hepatitis C).
HONOReform is working at all levels – from local communities to Capitol Hill – to save lives by ensuring that fundamental injection safety practices are followed each and every time. The HONOReform mission is shaped by a three-pronged commitment to safety:
• Safety by Design through adoption of safe injection devices that are engineered to remove human error;
• Safety by Incentives to spur on faster adoption of infection control guidelines by healthcare professionals and administrators;
• Safety by Education and reeducation of healthcare workers regarding infection control - and empowerment of patients to ask questions and report concerns.
By building safeguards into the injection process, incentivizing health care providers at all levels to universally follow fundamental safety standards, and educating and reeducating providers, all patients will be protected all the time. To achieve this goal, HONOReform works with healthcare stakeholders - including elected leaders, public health officials, patients, providers and industry - to make sure lessons are learned, standard practices are followed and lives are saved.
HONOReform Foundation hosted its debut awareness and fundraising event on November 12, 2010, in Fremont. Speakers and presenters included Ron Noecker, RN, of Johns Hopkins; Dr. Mark Mailliard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Dr. Joe Perz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta; Dr. Dianne Travers-Gustafson of Creighton University; and Evelyn McKnight. Thanks to the support of over 30 sponsors - including presenting sponsor Fremont Area Medical Center and gold sponsor Valmont Industries - HONOReform Foundation raised over $65,000 to sustain its mission.
Along with the Southern Nevada Health District, HONOReform Foundation debuted its Compassionate Response Toolkit (TM) on December 1, 2010, in Las Vegas. SNHD will distribute 10,000 copies of the toolkit to area providers, who will provide it to their patients. Our comprehensive toolkit, developed by Evelyn McKnight and others, provides much-needed information to men and women who are affected by bloodborne pathogens. More information, and a link to the toolkit, which is made available to individuals, is available at:
HONOReform helped host the debut HONOR Walk for Reform on October 9, 2011, at Woodcliff Lakes outside Fremont. Several "virtual walks" occurred simultaneously throughout the United States. Thanks to 20 sponsors and a variety of team and other donations, the HONOR Walk helped raise over $20,000 to sustain our mission.
Also in 2011, Evelyn McKnight joined colleagues from the CDC and AANA to present at "Injections without Infections," a congressional briefing focused on the devastating effect of recent outbreaks--and the work being done to prevent future outbreaks caused by unsafe injection practices.