The American Cancer Society awarded an $82,000 grant to Erie County Medical Center to help with education and screening tied to early detection for patients at risk for colorectal cancer.
“This CHANGE grant at ECMC will help increase colorectal cancer screening rates in our community’s at-risk population and get us closer to our shared goal of an 80 percent screening rate by 2018.” said JoAnna Jacob, senior manager for the American Cancer Society. “This is the fulfillment of a promise we made to the community.”
The new grant is part of a commitment the organization announced during colon cancer awareness month last March. During last year’s meeting of local health and community leaders, the society pledged to work with local health systems and insurers to increase colorectal cancer screening in Western New York.
“At ECMC, our emphasis is on the delivery of quality, life-saving health care services to the patients that seek our care and this grant from the American Cancer Society, a great partner of ECMC, will help provide critically important colon cancer community education and screenings to the underserved populations in our community,” said Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., ECMC president and CEO. “We have worked closely with the American Cancer Society on the “80% by 2018” initiative, which will help reduce colon cancer through education, colonoscopy screening and other tests, leading to earlier detection and treatment that can ultimately save lives.”
The 18-month grant will be used to increase colorectal cancer screening for age-eligible patients at the Internal Medicine Clinic at ECMC. A multidisciplinary clinical team will educate patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, emphasizing the fecal immunochemical test as a screening option. FIT tests will be offered annually, and a patient navigator will work directly with patients, following up and navigating them through the screening process. The patient navigator will perform an essential role, following up by phone to increase the return of tests, and navigating the patient through the screening process to ensure treatment for any positive results.