Hep C Connection was founded in 1995, as a "patients helping patients" support and awareness community resource by Ann Jesse and a dedicated group of community activists. Alarmed by the increasing incidence of hepatitis C and the lack of information or resources available to those impacted by the disease, they initially focused on (1) the development and implementation of a support group model and (2) the development of a telephone information and referral service. Today, Hep C Connection has grown into a unique and comprehensive model of public awareness and prevention strategies, educational programs, and support services.
From the outset, the Hep C Connection worked closely with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver Health and Hospitals, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to establish its credibility in the health care community. Today, the agency continues to collaborate with a number of agencies in its efforts to provide education and support around hepatitis C and co-infection (HCV/ HIV) and to promote awareness and prevention of hepatitis C.
The founder of HCC, Ann Jesse, stepped down as executive director in 2005. Ann is still connected with the agency as an Honorary Board Member; a special fund has been established in her name to recognize and honor her for founding and growing the organization.