Dr. Andrew Talal is an internationally acknowledged authority on liver diseases. He received his MD from the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio in 1990, completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Iowa in 1993, and a Gastroenterology fellowship at (UNC Chapel Hill in 1996. He also completed a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology at UNC in 1996. Dr. Talal has been a Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo since 2012. Since 2012, Dr. Talal was the PI on a pilot study evaluating telemedicine as a method to integrate viral hepatitis care into opiate agonist treatment (OAT) programs. In May 2016, the Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI) approved funding for a 5-year study with Dr. Talal as Principal Investigator. The study is comparing telemedicine-based treatment of hepatitis C to usual care at 12 OAT programs in New York State.
Telemedicine as a Method Address Health Care Issues in Substance Users
Andrew H. Talal, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, is a board-certified gastroenterologist who specializes in liver disease and its treatment. For the past decade, Dr. Talal concentrated his research and much of his clinical activity on treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in individuals with substance use disorders. Due to heroin addiction, these patients are at high risk for HCV, and the usual practice of referral to an offsite specialist for HCV treatment has been largely unsuccessful at engaging this population into treatment. Dr. Talal has been a pioneer in the investigation of telemedicine as an effective and patient-centered approach to integrate HCV and substance use treatment in methadone-maintained patients. He is currently the Principal Investigator on a large, 5-year study assessing the telemedicine approach compared to offsite referral at 12 methadone clinics throughout New York State. Dr. Talal and his team believe that telemedicine can be used not only to facilitate HCV treatment in substance users, but it is also a modality to treat addiction and other addiction-related conditions.