Colorectal Screening Grant Will Help Save Lives

Cornerstone News

Did you know colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third-most-common cancer in both men and women? Early detection is key to better survival rates.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, jointly awarded to St. Joseph Hospital and the American Cancer Society, we can help increase early detection in our community. The one-year program seeks to identify and treat colon cancer at its earliest stage and educate community members about colorectal cancer screening guidelines. Screening should start at age 45 and is especially important for communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by colon cancer mortality rates.

We wish to make colorectal cancer screening access as streamlined and easy as possible. Therefore, screening reminder cards are distributed to patients at well visits. They are imprinted with a QR code and an email address to make requesting a colorectal cancer screening easier. Part of the grant funds will also cover direct transportation costs to help qualifying patients travel to and from screening appointments.

Staff members are receiving training on the importance of timely cancer screening and how to implement strategies to improve it. Additionally, St. Joseph Hospital “cancer screening champions,” Carol Lesage and Kara Gill, who are both physician assistants, are dedicated to supporting and promoting the program.

This valuable grant initiative will be lifesaving for many patients. St. Joseph Hospital is committed to offering its community the most convenient and cost-effective means to get screened for colorectal cancer. Funding for screening programs such as this enables the hospital to continue this important work and fulfill its mission of offering compassionate care to all.

If you have questions about how to get screened for colorectal cancer, please contact your primary care physician, or contact St. Joseph Hospital Gastroenterology directly at (603) 578-9363.