Award winners will be recognized during the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month kickoff event and 80% in Every Community campaign launch on March 7
The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recognized six honorees with the 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award, a national honor recognizing leadership in the ongoing effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the U.S.
The 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award recognizes individuals and organizations who dedicate their time, talent, and expertise to advancing needed initiatives to reach the national goal of regularly screening 80% of adults age 50 or over for colorectal cancer. More than 1,700 organizations, including medical professional societies, academic centers, survivor groups, government agencies, cancer coalitions, cancer centers, and payers have signed a pledge to make this goal a priority. The 80% by 2018 initiative concluded at the end of 2018, but a new campaign, 80% in Every Community, is being launched to continue national momentum to reach the 80% goal.
This year's recipients include NOELA Community Health Center, New Orleans, LA, as the grand prize winner; and other honorees include AT&T, Dallas, TX; Bryan Green, MD, Greenwood, SC; Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA; Kentucky Cancer Consortium, Lexington, KY; and Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD. The grand prize winner receives $3,000, and each honoree receives $1,000 to support their continued efforts in the fight against colorectal cancer. Honorees also have the option to designate a non-profit of their choice as the recipient of the award funds.
"We are honored to recognize this year's awardees for their dedicated efforts to continue to make a difference in their communities by working to increase the number of people that have access to life-saving colorectal cancer screening," said Rich Wender, MD, our chief cancer control.
Grand Prize Winner: NOELA Community Health Center
Category: Community Health Center
NOELA Community Health Center, a nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home, provides comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to improve the health and wellness of the underserved communities in and around the New Orleans East area. After transitioning to a new electronic health record, in 2012, the year that colorectal cancer screening became a reportable measure for community health centers, NOELA CHC discovered that their screening rate was 3%. The health center then committed to making colorectal cancer screening a top priority for the organization and subsequently pledged to reach an 80% screening rate among their patient population. Since then, NOELA CHC has implemented a number of evidence-based systems changes to improve quality colorectal cancer screening, including patient navigation; patient and provider reminders, practice assessment and feedback; improved data analysis and reporting; and reduced colonoscopy wait times through an Open Access Endoscopy agreement with two area hospitals. As a result, NOELA CHC reached an 80% screening rate in November 2018, achieving the 80% by 2018 goal and dramatically improving access to quality preventative care for the community they serve.
AT&T is the world's largest communications company by revenue and is rapidly transforming into a leader in entertainment and technology. As a large employer, AT&T provides access to health care to almost one million employees, retirees and their family members. Starting in 2016, AT&T partnered with the American Cancer Society to deliver colorectal cancer screening education to employees, including an event featuring a live webcast, panel discussion, and interactive exhibit. AT&T then signed the 80% Pledge in 2017, becoming one of the largest organizations to make a commitment to the 80% goal. The following year, AT&T hosted a series of weekly awareness videos featuring Dak Prescott, NFL quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, to encourage employees to get screened. They also featured employee testimonials to bring the day-to-day story of colorectal cancer to life. AT&T has also promoted screening in the community by sharing messages on a local radio station in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area. Colorectal cancer screening among AT&T's U.S.-based employees has increased eight percentage points between 2016 and 2018.
Honoree: Bryan Green, MD
Category: Physician Champion
Bryan Green, MD, pictured here, has been a gastroenterologist with Digestive Disease Group in Greenwood, South Carolina since 2004. In 2008, he became one of the first gastroenterologists to volunteer with the Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network (CCPN), at the University of South Carolina, by providing screening colonoscopies at no cost to uninsured and medically underserved South Carolinians. Dr. Green collaborated with the CCPN in the development of its comprehensive patient navigation model associated with increased participation in men and in African Americans; and contributed to reduced no-show rate to colonoscopy to less than 1% annually. As an avid supporter of the program, Dr. Green has advocated and lobbied with various state legislators for increased funding to support the program. Finally, Dr. Green has helped recruit gastroenterologists to agree to participate in the program and waive their professional fees. Finally, he has attended several conferences to speak on behalf of the work being done in South Carolina.
Honoree: Kaiser Permanente Northern California
Category: Health Plan
Kaiser Permanente Northern California serves 4.3 million members, with a focus on prevention and total health. Beginning in 2006, Kaiser Permanente developed a population-based colorectal cancer screening program to systematically deliver screening to age-eligible patients. In this organized approach, patients have the option to complete screening with a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) mailed to their homes. By refining this approach, Kaiser Permanente has achieved screening rates over 80% since 2011, with upwards of 20,000 FIT kits mailed to patients weekly. Additionally, as of 2017, Kaiser Permanente's Medicare members in Northern California have reached an 89.9% screening rate, the third highest screening rate among Medicare plans in the country. Recent research now demonstrates that this screening program has been associated with a 52% reduction in colorectal cancer deaths. The Kaiser Permanente FIT-based outreach program, combined with colonoscopy, has become a model for similar programs to maximize the number of people screened in the U.S. and internationally.
Honoree: Kentucky Cancer Consortium
Category: Cancer Coalition/State Roundtable
The Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC) is Kentucky's statewide comprehensive cancer control coalition comprised of more than 70 organizations and 450 partners committed to reducing cancer in the state. Since 2002, KCC's Colon Cancer Committee has collaborated on multiple colorectal cancer public awareness, advocacy, and provider education efforts. Major accomplishments include state-wide public and provider education campaigns and policy efforts that led to the establishment of a statewide screening program for the uninsured, the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program, among other successes. Between 1999 and 2016, screening rates rose from 35% to 70%, improving more than any other state in the country and moving the state from a ranking of 49th to 17th. As screening rates have risen by 50%, incidence rates and mortality rates have declined dramatically, which means that every year almost 400 Kentuckians who would have gotten colorectal cancer no longer get the disease. One of the state's 15 Area Development Districts has already achieved the 80% goal.
Honoree: Sanford Health
Category: Hospital/Health System
Sanford Health is one of the largest health care systems in the nation with 44 hospitals and nearly 1,400 physicians in nine states and nine countries. It is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and serves the Upper Midwest. In 2015, Sanford Health signed the 80% Pledge and began implementing a multi-faceted approach to increase colorectal cancer screening among the communities it serves. In just three years, colorectal cancer screening increased from 68.7% in 2015 to 76.3% in 2018. This percentage reflects more than 104,000 patients up-to-date with screening recommendations, an increase of more than 20,000 patients receiving screening since 2015. To increase rates, Sanford Health provides ongoing provider and staff training; improves screening data tracking, reporting, and transparency; offers patients a choice of screening test; reminds patients to screen and removes barriers to screening; pilots innovative screening delivery systems, including mailed FIT and delivery of FIT during flu shot clinics; and promotes screening among employees. To date, 25 primary care clinic teams have achieved or exceeded the 80% goal.
Award winners will be recognized during the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month kickoff event and 80% in Every Community campaign launch on March 7 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET in Atlanta. Register to attend the event in person or to view the live broadcast. The event will feature celebrities, survivors and medical experts.
To learn more about the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, visit nccrt.org.