Expanding Testing and Treatment

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BEST Project Partnership

BEST Project Partnership

Breathe Easy South Texas (BEST) Project Partnership founding project partners include the Texas Department of State Health Services Region 8, University Health System, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. The partnership includes a growing network of urban, suburban, and rural medical providers who commit to test and treat populations at high risk for latent TB infection. This partnership has been responsible for planning and implementing activities to populations as large as 1.85 million.

BEST Project Partnership expands testing and treatment of latent TB infection in high-risk populations in 20 South Texas counties. Twenty-five percent of these counties are classified as highest risk counties for TB by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

BEST Project Partnership is unique because it focuses much-needed attention on latent TB infection as a component of the Texas TB elimination strategy. The BEST Model incorporates outreach and provider education with the specific aim of increasing testing and treatment for those with latent TB infection to reduce TB incidence.

Some of the BEST Project’s Successes Include:

  • Project staff reached out to over 75 providers located in 20 counties;
  • 15 providers have joined the effort, with 5 in San Antonio and 10 in surrounding counties;
  • 108 individuals trained, including 24 eligible providers (MDs, NPs, PAs, DOs);
  • 13 eligible providers now performing IGRA testing for the first time;
  • 15 formal agreements executed representing 22 rural clinics/facilities in 14 counties;
  • 8 additional agreements in process;
  • 1,798 high-risk individuals tested;
  • 216 high-risk individuals identified;
  • 67 individuals fully confirmed with latent TB infection;
  • 35 patients with latent TB infection started treatment;
  • 16 patients with latent TB infection completed treatment (73% of possible completers); and
  • 1 case of active TB identified.

BEST’s focus on high-risk populations has uncovered significant numbers of persons with latent TB infection. The BEST Project will continue to expand activities in an effort to continue reducing TB in local communities and regionally.