Humans of NHC: Meet John Evers!

Posted on: March 22, 2024San Francisco

John Evers is the infectious diseases program coordinator at HealthRIGHT 360’s Integrated Care Center (ICC) in San Francisco. John is in charge of coordinating the care of HIV and Hepatitis C patients and has been working at HealthRIGHT 360 for 7 years.John is sitting in the middle of the frame and facing the camera. Behind him is a cubicle sound dampening wall behind a desk.

What was it that interested you in your current career path/profession?

John states that, “When I started at HealthRIGHT, we were in the midst of a significant Hepatitis C epidemic in San Francisco. At the time, the Bay Area had one of the highest concentrations of Hep C incidence and prevalence in the country. There was a concerted effort to really try to do something about it. I wanted to be a part of that and at the time, HealthRIGHT was really ramping up its efforts to be a part of that too. It seemed like a good opportunity to get involved! I was initially hired to run an HIV and Hep C rapid testing program from patients coming into our residential treatment program. Everyone who came into residential needed to get a TB test so we decided to also test them for HIV and Hep C when they got their TB tests and this was on an opt-out basis. We did that for about three years and I was largely in charge of that”. 

What kind of advice would you give to people pursuing a career in public health?

“Study your epidemiology! Brush up on your epi skills! And if you aren’t good at Excel, brush up on that too. You also might want to think about your grant writing skills because sometimes, finding funding is a good skill to have. Because there are lots of opportunities out there and there is funding to be found but, it takes that specific skill set to break into it.”

What is something that you like about working in San Francisco?

“A lot of things! Firstly, the diversity of populations. Second, the fact that San Francisco has a long history of taking public health matters seriously and the fact that the people here, in general, tend to take the odd epidemic seriously. San Francisco was hit very hard by the AIDS epidemic and subsequently, when something like Covid or Mpox comes along, San Francisco responds very positively to crises such as those. I was really heartened when Mpox came along to see the public response of the LGBT+ community. The population that was most affected was basically gay and bisexual men. There was a serious vaccination effort and people took it seriously. They were lining up in long lines, at considerable inconvenience to themselves as individuals, but for the collective good. And we did see that in other cities as well, but it seemed that the public response in San Francisco was especially robust and you don’t always find that in other cities, but you do find it here and that’s pretty cool!”

What do you like about working at HealthRIGHT 360?

“My colleagues are wonderful. We have some really really wonderful and dedicated people here. I enjoy their vigor and focus. And their continued compassion and dedication to what they do helps invigorate me. When I’m working with our providers in the clinic, they often times don’t have a lot of experience working with ID patients. And when they’re exposed to Hep C treatment protocols and they realize that it’s not that complicated, it’s a game changer for them. Hep C is one of those rare conditions that we can actually cure! It’s not like trying to manage a chronic condition. In some cases, we can cure it in as little as 8 weeks and you can cross it off a person's problem list. That can be a really empowering experience for the providers and the patients. Some of our patients have lived very chaotic lives with lots of challenges due to mental health issues and substance use issues. In some cases, curing their Hep C is one of the very few things that is going right in their lives and that can be enormously powerful.”

Was there a specific moment while working here that you remember very fondly?

“Oh, well yeah there have been a couple! I’ve had a couple patients tell me, ‘You saved my life’ and you don’t necessarily hear that much in non-public health spheres of life. I mean my parents wanted me to be a stock broker when I was younger but I probably wouldn’t have heard that much as a stock broker. Or at least in a very very different context. But yeah, when you hear that and people genuinely mean it, it can make some of the struggles that we go through on a day to day basis seem very worth it.” 

About the Author:

Megan Armstrong



Position Title:

Opioid Use Care Coordinator

Where are you from?

I am originally from Irvine, CA but have been living in the Bay Area for the past 3 years now.

Host Site

1563 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
1563 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103