Healthcare and Wellness Programs

VOCAL-NY is part of the The Innovative Models Project, a New York State Department of Health funded program, which joins VOCAL-NY and Mount Sinai Hospital in collaboration to find and treat people with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) who use drugs.

The VOCAL-NY + Mount Sinai Cures team provides specialized health services for people who use drugs or have used drugs in the past, using a harm reduction approach. Our team believes in serving people with dignity, compassion, and love in a judgment-free environment.

We provide Hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing for free, HCV treatment and support for people in our communities including people who have or currently inject, as a part of our broader mission. You do not have to stop using drugs  to access HCV treatment. We strongly believe that everyone living with HCV deserves to know they are HCV-positive and be cured.

Blood tests are used to diagnose HCV infection. The first test is called an HCV antibody test. If positive, this is followed up with a test that confirms the presence of the virus in your blood. If you’re living with HIV, you should have a HCV test at least once a year. HCV testing every 6 months is recommended if:

  • You have had more than 10 partners in the past six months;
  • You have had condomless anal sex;
  • You have injected drugs; and/or,
  • You have had group sex.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects the liver and can cause liver inflammation and damage. If you have ever been exposed to HCV, you will have HCV antibodies in your blood. But even if your body clears the infection on its own or if your infection is treated, you can get re-infected if you come into contact with the virus again. You don’t develop immunity to the hepatitis C virus.

Almost everyone living with HCV can now be cured with an 8-12 week, once-a-day medication. People who inject can access free onsite HCV testing and treatment at VOCAL-NY’s Brooklyn location, or through our telemedicine option. In our program, you get support before, during, and after the treatment process, and you learn how to prevent reinfection.

In addition to testing and treatment, we eliminate barriers preventing people from getting knowing their status and cured by offering treatment at our VOCAL + Mount Sinai Cures program. The Cure Program provides medication storage to people without housing, support with case management and wrap-around services, and assists participants to achieve secondary goals. All medical and support visits occur at VOCAL-NY’s Brooklyn location.

For people who are undocumented and are living with HCV the VOCAL-NY + Mount Sinai Cures program works with HepCAP.  This NYS Department of Health program covers the cost of HCV treatment visits and labs.


VOCAL + Mount Sinai Cures Program

646-341-1562Email to inquire about services

Buprenorphine (or bupe) is a medication that treats addiction to opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers (Vicodin, Oxycontin or Percocet). Suboxone is a common brand name for bupe. Multiple formulations of bupe are available (tablet, film, long-acting injectable or implantable). 

Bupe has been approved for treatment of opioid use disorder since 2002. Bupe stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This makes it easier for someone to stop using opioids, cut down on opioid use and avoid overdose. Bupe can cause side effects including constipation, nausea, headache or insomnia

Medicaid, Medicare and most other health insurance plans pay for bupe. Once you have a prescription from a health care provider (Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant or Physician) , you can get bupe from a pharmacy and take it home like any other medication.

Abscesses are common in those who inject drugs because substances are not sterile and are often mixed with citric acid or other corrosive substances. Citric acid can cause acid burns in the vessels or subcutaneous tissue, leading to damage. 

Once the VOCAL + Mount Sinai Cures clinic is open, care for basic wounds will be available onsite at 300 Douglass Street (with insurance). 

Common problems related to injecting include abscesses, inflammation, blood clots, deep skin infection, and leg ulcers. Signs and symptoms of wound infections can include high fever and chills, heat, swelling, redness, aches and pain around wound, pus and an unpleasant smell from the wound site, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, difficulty breathing, and pain in the chest.

Untreated bacterial infections can lead to serious complications, such as blood poisoning or infection in the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis), that carry a high risk of death. Repeated injections in a single area can damage the skin and surrounding tissue, making it more susceptible to infection. Rotating injection sites and getting early treatment for wounds is very important in order to prevent further complications.

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These health services are offered by VOCAL-NY + Mount Sinai’s clinic at the 300 Douglass Street office location in Brooklyn, New York: 

  • Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) screening 
  • Care and treatment for Hepatitis C 
  • Buprenorphine (Bupe) treatment 
  • Wound care related to drug use 
  • Linkage to health insurance 
  • Care coordination
  • Support Groups

*Please Call VOCAL-NY’s Office to Discuss the Best Time to Receive Services*

+1 (646) 341-1562


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