Interview with Esperanza Health Centers—Recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award for Community Health Centers

October 4, 2021 – Authors: Andrew Van Wieren, MD and Ted Hufstader, MPH

On March 1, Esperanza Health Centers became the recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community Awards, a program designed to recognize individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent, and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher.

Andrew Van Wieren, MD, is Chief Medical Officer, leads our team of over 70 medical and behavioral health providers, and is dedicated to expanding access to high-quality health care to underserved communities. Dr. Van Wieren’s efforts have helped Esperanza receive the National Quality Leader Award four out of the past five years, placing us within the top tier of health centers nationally for our quality of care. He graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Primary Care Internal Medicine Program at Harvard Medical School. Some of his awards and affiliations include the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, Gold Humanism Honor Society, and National Health Service Corps Scholar.

Ted Hufstader, MPH, joined Esperanza Health Centers in January 2018, bringing 12 years of expertise in health research and organizational learning and development to his role. Most recently, Ted was supporting and developing a leadership and succession planning program at Southcentral Foundation (SCF), an Alaska Native primary care system known for its transformational relationship-based care model and a two-time winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Ted’s philosophy is determining what builds, drives, and sustains an organization’s culture, and he brings this approach to Esperanza’s nationally recognized quality improvement initiatives. Outside of work, you can find Ted running through Chicago’s many neighborhoods, relaxing with his cat Fuzzie Mercury, and searching for Chicago’s best chocolate chip cookie.

Esperanza Health Centers was founded in 2004 with a mission to deliver health and hope for Chicago’s underserved communities. Esperanza serves primarily, but not exclusively, Latin X Mexican-American immigrant populations on the southwest side of Chicago. About 90% of their patients identify as Latin X, and they are committed to DEI efforts (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in their work.

In 2016, Esperanza began applying a team-based care approach to increase colorectal cancer screening rates from a baseline of 43% in 2015. Screening rates climbed to 69% in 2016 and reached 80% in 2017, with rates remaining above 80% through 2019.

In 2018 and 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated Esperanza a National Quality Leader, an honor bestowed on fewer than 5% of federally qualified health centers nationwide. During the COVID-19 pandemic, care teams focused on delivering fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) with prepaid mailers and frequent reminders.

Tell us a little bit about Esperanza Health Centers and how you have been impacted by COVID-19.
We believe in and live our values of caring, quality, and family. We continuously strive to deliver high-quality patient-centered care that meets the needs of the communities we serve. Between 2016 and 2020, our health center population rose from 20,719 to 45,548 patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted the communities we serve, with a COVID-19 positive test rate of 75% in some communities. During the pandemic, we focused on the immediate needs of our community by providing health information, testing, clinical evaluation, referrals, and vaccination services.

When and why did Esperanza Health Centers decide to focus on increasing colorectal cancer screening rates?
In 2015, our baseline screening rate was 43%, and we wanted to improve this measure. The NCCRT’s 80% by 2018 goal helped to motivate and focus us on increasing our colorectal cancer screening rates. Once we set the goal for an 80% screening rate, it was hard not to go forward. It took us about four years to reach 80%.

Our approach was to get curious and look at different ways to improve access to screening, especially for our uninsured patients. For example, we incorporated FIT tests into the screening workflow because about 30% of our patients are uninsured.

What clinical practice changes did you implement to support colorectal cancer screening?
We adopted a team-based care model with a care coordinator role. In this model, every patient works with a dedicated three-person team – care coordinator, medical assistant, and provider – with each team member’s skills leveraged to reach the best patient outcomes. The care coordinators really helped by working with lists of patients, doing patient education around FIT tests, and following up on abnormal test results.

We did a lot of training to make sure that everyone felt that they were part of the team. We built the team by starting at the point of new hiring and welcoming people to the team. Being on a team is about sharing responsibility and designing systems that make it easy for people to be successful at doing the right things.

We changed our electronic health records (EHR) system to one that had strong population health tools that could provide us with monthly dashboard reports. The dashboard data enabled us to identify the care teams that were exceeding their goals and capture and share their best practices. You cannot improve if you do not know where you are and whether your interventions are helping. The dashboard really helped us to see that information.

The EHR system also allowed our care coordinators to directly order FIT tests without a provider being involved. That enabled patients to access FIT testing without needing to come in for a visit. Instead, they received their FIT tests simply because they were on our panel of patients. Providers signed off on FIT tests in batches, and the care coordinators followed up to get the FIT tests back for analysis.

Communication is important for patients and follow-up because patients don’t always return the FIT tests on time. For example, our care coordinators sometimes call patients a number of times before getting the FIT test back. Our normal policy is to do two phone calls and a letter, but sometimes messages alone are not good enough. Some people require more help to return their FIT test because of health literacy or social determinants of health factors. In those cases, a persistent care coordinator can make a big difference.

Benchmarking our measures helped to motivate the teams through competition and improvement. We used data dashboards and business intelligence to do some visualization of the data. When the data told a story, it enabled people to discuss how they wanted to respond. We revised the designs of the dashboards based on team member feedback. For example, some people wanted a comparison report showing how they were doing compared to the previous year. The data visualizations from the EHR helped us to get new perspectives.

One of our strategic goals is to be in the first quartile for all the Uniform Data System (UDS) measures. The competition aspect keeps the teams motivated to improve their thinking about how to make screening accessible and how to accompany patients through the screening journey. We also have a quality subcommittee of our board, and we try to build an open culture for curiosity and new ideas. We are saying, doing, and living our values, which is very important.

What advice would you offer to other health centers that would like to implement a team-based care approach to colorectal cancer screening?
We recommend that health centers find an EHR system that facilitates their team-based population health approach. Find an EHR that provides informative dashboards, monthly reports, and lists of patients to work from.

Additionally, set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) but audacious goals for motivation, and then work on step-by-step incremental achievements toward the big goals. Keep yourself accountable for those incremental achievements and keep pushing toward them.

Finally, ensure that you have institutional buy-in and investment. Reaching big goals does not happen magically; people must be hired, and money must be spent. We have built a brand of quality for our system, and that’s the #1 advertisement that you can have. Our reputation is behind a lot of the growth success that we have had.

What success have you seen? How did you measure that success?
We look at success measures at both the team level and across the whole clinic. We share the team dashboard results with teams every month, and the Practice Transformation Associates work with teams to understand the data and set new goals.

We like FIT tests because, as a quality measure, the model of colorectal cancer screening with a FIT test is easy to explain, and it’s a workflow that people can understand and operate successfully. When the teams see their team data, they get motivated, and the teams set their own goals.

Our colorectal cancer screening rate has fallen below 80% for now because the pandemic caused our rate to drop. But the current rate is still a large improvement over our 2015 baseline rate. Our goal for this year is 70% because many patients won’t come into the health center because of the pandemic.

Were there tools, trainings, or resources that you found helpful?
The 80% by 2018 national goal was helpful and was very encouraging along the way. Our local American Cancer Society representative, Emmanuel Zambrano, was also a great cheerleader and very supportive.

Do you have any final tips for our readers who are working to achieve 80% in Every Community?
Invest in making small incremental steps toward your big impact goals. That way, people won’t get overwhelmed – they can start smiling and growing fast. Perfect!

Thank you for sharing your story with us! We look forward to hearing more about your work and the Esperanza Health Center’s progress in the future.

We highlight successes, leaders, best practices, and tools that are making an impact in the nationwide movement to reach 80% screened for colorectal cancer.

Do you have a suggestion for a future blog topic? We welcome you to share your suggestions by emailing nccrt@cancer.org.

BLOG POLICY

Opinions expressed in these blog posts are that of the author and do not represent policies of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable or the author’s institution.

Our staff moderate all comments on the 80% Blog. While we do not censor based on point of view, we will delete or edit comments that are offensive or off topic. Click here to view full version.

CRC News: September 1, 2021

New Interactive 80% in Every Community Strategic Plan

In March 2020, the NCCRT launched the 80% in Every Community Strategic Plan. This shared strategic plan provides a focused, action-oriented roadmap for stakeholders, collaborators, and cross-sectored partners in their efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. The plan offers a variety of recommended activities that any stakeholder can use to help define, prioritize, and accomplish their goals.

As we begin looking ahead to the 2021 80% in Every Community Conference & NCCRT Annual Meeting and as we aim to reignite the momentum of the 80% campaign, we are thrilled to be sharing our new interactive 80% in Every Community Strategic Plan!

The interactive version features all the content from the original plan, but further connects each focus area with resources from the NCCRT Resource Center as well as case studies from the NCCRT 80% Blog and past 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award winners. We hope you find this new tool easy to navigate, shareable, and valuable to your future planning efforts.

New Blog Post with the American Association of Medical Assistants, 2021 80% In Every Community National Achievement Award Honoree

Don’t miss the latest post on the 80% Blog featuring Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA and Nikki Hochschild, MBA, with the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards honoree. Learn how the AAMA partnered with the NCCRT to launch a year-long education initiative to inform and equip medical assistants to educate patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and to help patients overcome barriers to being appropriately screened. Congratulations again to the AAMA!

New Developments with the Proposed Addition of CRC Screening to the 2022 Medicaid Core Set

In May, the Medicaid Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup voted unanimously to recommend adding colorectal cancer screening as a quality measure the Child and Adult Core Sets for 2022. Yesterday, the 2022 Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup Final Report was released, another important step in the process of updating the 2022 measure set. The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services will now review the final report and release the final 2022 Child and Adult Core Sets by December 31, 2021.

Also released yesterday, From Research to Action: Advocating For A Medicaid Colorectal Cancer Screening Quality Performance Measure, a new blog post on the Health Affairs Blog, describes the screening disparities among Medicaid-insured adults and the power of measurement to move toward addressing inequities. Congratulations to coauthor, Beverly Green, MD, MPH, NCCRT Steering Committee member, and the many individuals that have worked tirelessly to advocate for the addition of this new measure.

Registration Open: Issue Hub #2: Strengthening public health and healthcare systems to advance cancer screening and care

The American Cancer Society (ACS) National Consortium is developing bold, but sensible recommendations toward the safe and equitable recovery of cancer screening and care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register to participate on Thursday, September 9 from 1 to 2:30 PM ET as leading clinicians and researchers discuss vulnerabilities within our nation’s public health and healthcare systems that contributed to the decrease in cancer screening and care during the pandemic as well as the further exacerbation of inequities. Panelists will also explore and showcase concrete action steps that can be taken to build resilience in our public health and healthcare systems. These tangible solutions will not only prepare us for any ongoing or future disruptions to the delivery of cancer screening, diagnostics, and care, but will also aid in appropriately addressing persistent disparities. This webcast is free to attend and open to all.

Discussion objectives for the Issue Hub include:

  • Understand where there are weaknesses and/or vulnerabilities in the US healthcare system that worsened outcomes in cancer screening and care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Identify steps for strengthening our healthcare systems to be better prepared and equipped to address future disruptions (e.g. pandemics, natural disasters, etc.).

Learn how some systems have successfully navigated cancer screening and care during the pandemic and improved outcomes.

Interview with the American Association of Medical Assistants—Recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award for Professional Associations

September 1, 2021 – Authors: Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA and Nikki Hochschild, MBA

On March 1, the AAMA became the recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community Awards, a program designed to recognize individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent, and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher.

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, serves as the CEO and legal counsel of the American Association of Medical Assistants®. His areas of legal specialization include not-for-profit governance, professional credentialing and regulation, and antitrust principles applicable to certifying and accrediting bodies.

Balasa served as chair of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and as vice chair of the committee to update the Institute for Credential Excellence (I.C.E.) publication ICE 1100:2019—Standard for Assessment-Based Certificate Programs, which is an American National Standard. He was elected to the board of directors of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in 2018 and as president of CAAHEP in 2021.

Balasa received both his baccalaureate and law degrees from Northwestern University and his MBA in economics from the University of Chicago. He was awarded the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives. Balasa has taught a course on association management at the DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and teaches constitutional law evening courses at Trinity International University.

Nikki Hochschild, MBA, serves as the chief operating officer (COO) of the AAMA. Before her role as COO, Hochschild was the director of information technology and operations. She has played a key role in implementing the AAMA’s first ever e-commerce integrated website, improving operational efficiencies, and coordinating our partnerships with health care organizations like the NCCRT. Hochschild graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University.

Tell us a little bit about the AAMA.
The American Association of Medical Assistants®, the only organization in the world devoted exclusively to the medical assisting profession, was established in 1956 and serves the interests of more than 92,000 medical assisting professionals. The American Association of Medical Assistants provides quality resources and educational opportunities for medical assistants by offering CMA (AAMA)® certification, advocacy for quality patient-centered health care, credential acknowledgment, and scope-of-practice protection.

When and why did AAMA decide to focus on informing and equipping medical assistants to educate patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening?
The AAMA decided to focus on educating patients about the importance of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening because our leaders and members in certain parts of the United States were encountering a lot of patients with colorectal cancer who could have been helped by earlier detection. As important public health issues arise, the AAMA focuses on initiatives that impact our members in their professional and personal lives. For example, in addition to CRC screening, the AAMA has also played a prominent role in the efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

The focus also stemmed from the AAMA’s engagement as an NCCRT member starting in 2017. AAMA staff who attended NCCRT’s annual meetings in 2017, 2018, and 2019 were inspired by the energy and enthusiasm for reaching screening rates of 80%. They then shared the best practices and evidence-based strategies to increase CRC screening that they learned about at the meeting with their colleagues and the idea for a partnership with NCCRT was born.   

What activities did you implement, and how did you choose them?
Throughout 2020, the AAMA implemented activities that best inform and equip medical assistants in educating patients about the importance of CRC screening and helping patients overcome barriers in the screening process. Those activities were established in support of the goal to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher.

AAMA continuing education courses and articles from our bimonthly publication, CMA Today, were geared toward empowering medical assistants to be more effective advocates for CRC screening. This focus was amplified during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March and Medical Assistants Recognition Week October 19–23. Emily Butler Bell, NCCRT co-director, contributed an article on the importance of CRC screening, the critical role of medical assistants in delivery timely, quality CRC screening, and to highlight the AAMA and NCCRT’s collaboration to place a special focus on the opportunity to save more lives from this disease.  

To broaden our CRC education outreach to medical assistants, the AAMA created social media posts about CRC courses and programs offered by the NCCRT and other reputable CRC screening providers. The AAMA posted on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, which resulted in approximately 183,613 impressions.

What success have you seen? How did you measure that success?
One of the centerpieces of the AAMA’s CRC education initiative was the new course entitled Medical Assistants’ Roles in Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: Getting to 80% by Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, former vice president of cancer control interventions of the American Cancer Society. This course was marketed by e-blasts and social media posts throughout the year, and the price of the course was discounted during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Medical Assistants Recognition Week. 3,964 individuals—including medical assistants and other health professionals—completed the course successfully and were awarded AAMA continuing education credit.

What tips would you offer to other professional organizations that would like to support and empower their members to focus on colorectal cancer screening?
Get your regional, state, and local affiliates involved, as well as educators in academic programs in your profession. The AAMA state societies and local chapters and academic programs “caught the vision” and created their own CRC educational events. This amplified the impact of the AAMA initiative in countless ways!

Our organization constantly shared informational messaging with medical assistants about the importance of CRC screening to empower them to communicate with patients. We went 100% virtual during the pandemic, which required us to rely heavily on digital sources, such as social media, websites, and online learning courses for disseminating information about CRC screening to medical assistants.

Do you have any final tips for our readers that are working to achieve 80% in Every Community?
The American Cancer Society and NCCRT staff have been instrumental in creating CRC screening resources. For those who are looking to achieve 80% in Every Community, I highly recommend you reach out to them as they are incredibly receptive to ideas you may have, and they have been so great to collaborate with.

Don’t underestimate the generosity and commitment of health professionals! We witnessed the bravery and sacrifices of health care heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAMA observed the same traits in our medical assistants throughout the United States as they strove to help patients overcome fears of CRC screening.

We highlight successes, leaders, best practices, and tools that are making an impact in the nationwide movement to reach 80% screened for colorectal cancer.

Do you have a suggestion for a future blog topic? We welcome you to share your suggestions by emailing nccrt@cancer.org.

BLOG POLICY

Opinions expressed in these blog posts are that of the author and do not represent policies of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable or the author’s institution.

Our staff moderate all comments on the 80% Blog. While we do not censor based on point of view, we will delete or edit comments that are offensive or off topic. Click here to view full version.

CRC News: August 12, 2021

2020 UDS Data on CRC Screening in FQHCs Now Available

On Monday, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released the 2020 UDS (Uniform Data System) data for national Health Center Program awardees (federally qualified health centers). HRSA reported an overall colorectal cancer screening rate of 40.1% in 2020, which demonstrates a 10-percentage point increase since HRSA began tracking colorectal cancer screening as a UDS measure in 2012. However, this rate is down from the 2019 rate of 45.6%, no doubt reflective of the myriad of challenges health centers faced and continue to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic starting in early 2020. Notably, despite these challenges, health centers screened 2,448,976 patients in 2020, close to the total number screened in 2018 (2,491,769).

The NCCRT would like to congratulate our partners at HRSA and the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) for championing efforts to increase CRC screening among their grantee and member health centers partners. And most of all, we’d like to share a huge round of applause for the staff and providers at health centers for their persistence and innovation in working day in and day out to provide eligible patients with the opportunity to screen for this often preventable disease. Visit the HRSA website to learn more about the UDS measure and to find the UDS screening rate for health centers in your state. Visit NCCRT’s Data & Progress webpage to learn about our progress with other national measures.

Registration Open: Utilizing simulation modeling to inform cancer control responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

The American Cancer Society National Consortium to Improve Cancer Screening and Care will host a 90-minute webcast and discussion with leading investigators from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) team to share the latest modeling findings on the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening/outcomes. Register to participate on August 18 from 12 to 1:30 PM ET for the session entitled, Utilizing simulation modeling to inform cancer control responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: What does the latest modeling research tell us about near- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer outcomes?

In June 2020, an editorial published in Science modeled the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening and treatment for breast and colorectal cancer, estimating nearly 10,000 excess deaths from those cancers in the next decade. Since then, simulation models have been updated with new data on cancer screening volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest modeling research can improve our understanding of the effects the pandemic may have on cancer screening, care, and mortality.

This webcast is free to attend and open to all.

Fight Colorectal Cancer Announces Grant Opportunity

Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), an NCCRT member, announced the launch of the 2022-2023 application cycle for the Catalyst State-by-State Advocacy Program. The Catalyst Program provides funding along with technical assistance and support to coalitions working to advance state-level policy to increase access to colorectal cancer screening.

The application for the 2022-2023 grant cycle is open with all applications due at 11:59pm EST on August 20, 2021. Fight CRC is looking for applications from state coalitions, non-profit organizations (501(c)(3), 501(c)(4)), universities, and state governments who are currently working on policy to increase access to colorectal cancer screening or those who are looking to get involved in the work. Individuals not affiliated or supported by an entity listed above are not eligible for funding.

Key policy priorities include ensuring access to colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 (for those states where this is still relevant in light of updated USPSTF guidelines) and removing out-of-pocket costs for patients needing a colonoscopy following a positive non-invasive screening test. Other “big P” and “small p” policy solutions for increasing access to screening may also be considered.

Learn more about the Catalyst Program and apply by the deadline on August 20, 2021. Questions?

Contact Molly McDonnell, Director of Advocacy at Fight CRC, at molly@fightcrc.org.

CRC News: July 27, 2021

Introducing the New NCCRT Learning Center!

We are excited to launch the NCCRT Learning Center, a digital learning platform which features courses, tools, and other resources on colorectal cancer screening delivery and research. Current educational offerings include:

  • The Colonoscopy Needs Calculator—This tool estimates the number of colonoscopies your practice can realistically anticipate with a high-quality stool-based colorectal cancer screening program based on various screening rate goals and other data inputs. It also provides an estimation of what the total colonoscopy need would cost a system as well as a comparison between the costs of treating cancer and costs of providing colonoscopies.
  • The Communications Education Portal—This course houses our suite of market research findings on the unscreened for colorectal cancer and messaging recommendations to more effectively develop communication campaigns and resources for unscreened populations. Learners can peruse the market research findings from start to finish or jump in to find just what you need to educate, empower, and mobilize those who are not getting screened for colorectal cancer.

We plan to populate the NCCRT Learning Center, a subsite of our main website, www.nccrt.org, with additional tools and learning modules over time. Users can create an account to track your progress, learn when new content is released, and access more courses as they become available.

New Blog Post with UCLA Health, 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award Grand Prize Winner

Don’t miss the latest post on the 80% Blog featuring Dr. Folasade May of UCLA Health, our 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award grand prize winner. Learn about the multifaceted approach Dr. May and her colleagues used to promote colorectal cancer screening, which allowed them to maintain a screening rate increase of 10 percentage points despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations again to UCLA Health, and many thanks to Dr. May for spending time with us to share how they achieved success!

NCI Relaunches RTIPs as Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs

In October 2020, NCI relaunched the Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) website with a new design and name – Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs (EBCCP).

The Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs (EBCCP) website is a searchable database of behavioral, psychosocial, and policy programs, including profiles for 22 colorectal cancer screening-specific programs. The website also includes tools and materials that program planners and public health practitioners can use to help prevent cancer and support cancer survivors and their caregivers.

Reminder: Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Addition of CRC Screening to the 2022 Medicaid Core Set

In May the Medicaid Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup met to make recommendations for changes to the Child and Adult Core Sets for 2022 and voted unanimously to recommend adding colorectal cancer screening as a quality measure.

The Workgroup’s draft report, Recommendations for Improving the Core Sets of Health Care Quality Measures for Medicaid and CHIP: Summary of a Multistakeholder Review of the 2022 Child and Adult Core Sets, has now been released for public comment ahead of the final report and release of the final 2022 Core Sets by December 31, 2021.

Public comments may be submitted via email to MACCoreSetReview@mathematica-mpr.com by 8:00 PM ET on Friday, August 6, 2021. Please include “2022 Core Set Review Public Comment” in the subject line and specify whether you are commenting as an individual or on behalf of an organization.

Margaret Hitchcock and Stony Anderson of the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition (C4) have generously offered to share a sample email developed to support the addition of the measure, which you are welcome to use and adapt.

Relevant Journal Articles, Publications, & Other News

Interview with UCLA Health—Grand Prize Recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award

July 27, 2021 – Author: Folasade May, MD, PhD, MPhil

On March 1, UCLA Health became the Grand Prize recipient of the 2021 80% in Every Community Awards, a program designed to recognize individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher.

My name is Fola May. I am a Gastroenterologist and health services researcher at UCLA Health and focus on colorectal cancer prevention and health care disparities. I am also the Director of Quality Improvement for Digestive Diseases. In that capacity I help run health system efforts to improve quality of care for patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases.

 

Tell us a little bit about UCLA Health and the organization’s colorectal cancer screening program.
UCLA Health is a large, integrated tertiary care medical center in Southern California with over 55 primary care sites and approximately 390,000 primary care enrollees. We also have five endoscopy procedure units that perform about 15,000 screening colonoscopies per year. The health system leadership designated colorectal cancer screening a high priority area in 2018 and since then has committed several resources to our quality improvement program and awareness campaign.

When and why did UCLA Health decide to focus on increasing colorectal cancer screening?
We recognized several years ago that colorectal cancer screening and early detection were areas where we could have much more impact. Our screening rates were quite low at the time—at round 50%. There were also several changes in our health system around that time that supported this new focus: health system leadership embraced the opportunity to improve our screening rates, we extended our capacity for screening colonoscopy by adding endoscopy units, and we started using more stool-based screening tests like the fecal immunochemical test (FIT). We also implemented a new electronic health record (EHR) system at around that time, and that platform allowed us to improve documentation of screening utilization. All of these changes resulted in an ideal environment with the tools, resources, and leadership needed to launch our first systemwide cancer awareness program focusing on colorectal cancer.

What activities and systems changes did you implement, and how did you choose them?
We had three major goals of the campaign. First, we wanted to increase awareness about colorectal cancer risk and screening utilization among UCLA patients, staff, and faculty. Second, we aimed to establish a formal quality improvement program to continuously track and improve care processes related to the screening and early detection of colorectal cancer. Third, we aimed to engage and support community partners throughout Los Angeles County to address colorectal cancer disparities.

We knew very early that we wanted a campaign that addressed patients, providers, our own staff, and beyond. To raise awareness among the patients we serve, we hosted several public events, often using the massive inflatable colon to engage patients walking to or from appointments on campus. We also identified patients with insightful personal stories about getting screened, receiving colorectal cancer care, and survivorship. We have continuously shared these patient stories on social media, and it has become a major means to bring people into the conversation about colorectal cancer.

There were also a few activities we did specifically for UCLA Health staff and providers. We held multiple Dress in Blue Days to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. Employees were also invited to lunchtime lectures about colorectal cancer screening, prevention through nutrition, and overall wellness.

One of our larger public-facing efforts was an informational social media campaign for which we had help from several advocates and influencers, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tyra Banks, and Maria Menounos. Through social media, we were able to share content—educational videos, webinars, infographics—to reach a broader audience. Several UCLA Health providers participated in radio show interviews, editorials, local television commercials, and information sessions that were geared towards both patients and providers who wanted to learn more about colorectal cancer. Many of these resources are available on our patient resource page.

I understand you took a multifaceted approach to your campaign. How did this work?
Our Colorectal Cancer Workgroup is the force behind our quality improvement efforts, which is a major component of the campaign. The workgroup is a multidisciplinary team with representation from gastroenterology, primary care, population health, quality improvement, family medicine, geriatrics, oncology, and surgery. So we have champions in many of our clinical divisions and departments to help us improve care processes related to getting patients screened. In addition, we work very closely with UCLA marketing and media. A lot of the success of our quality efforts and annual campaign comes from having this diverse representation of expertise at the table.

What success have you seen? How did you measure that success?
We try to measure success several different ways. For our first goal to increase colorectal cancer screening rates, we have been actively measuring screening rates and screening modalities for our health system. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to maintain a 10 percent increase in colorectal cancer screening for our system. Using more FIT during the COVID-19 pandemic was instrumental.

Other markers of success for the quality improvement program include our FIT mailing program, FIT navigation program, and several additional interventions that we’ve used at the provider and patient levels to increase screening rates. We’ve been able to not only roll those programs out, but also evaluate them and publish the results. I think that’s how we measure the success of the QI part of the campaign.

It is a bit more challenging to measure the impact of our efforts on the broader community and county, but we remain encouraged that we have been able to engage so many people through our website and social media efforts. We have travelled with the inflatable colon to two safety net hospital affiliates that see a larger proportion of medically underserved people of color and non-English speakers. I’m most proud of that community engagement and value that we have been able extend the campaign beyond UCLA.

What tips would you offer to others that are working to increase colorectal cancer screening in hospitals and health systems?
My first tip is that it takes a village. You really need to have the right people in the room to do this work in a large health system, and you need to have health system leadership support. I have enjoyed working with my partners in primary care, quality improvement, and population health. And the only reason why any of this work happens is because we embedded our programs in primary care where most colorectal cancer screening originates.

One other tip is to set very specific goals. It was easy for us to stay on task because we had three specific goals. We knew we wanted to increase awareness, increase screening, and implement a QI program. And we focused only on activities related directly to those goals. So having very specific, realistic goals and the infrastructure and resources to achieve them was essential.

Did you leverage any organizational or community partnerships to support your campaign?
We have partnered with the American Cancer Society and with Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific provides our large inflatable colon. We also partner with two local safety net hospitals and an organization of community health workers or promotoras who provide preventive health workshops and trainings in Latino communities in Los Angeles.

Do you have any final tips for our readers who are working to achieve 80% in Every Community?
This work is challenging and time-consuming but also very rewarding and inspiring. I have always loved patient care and my research, but doing this campaign has been an incredible way to work across clinical disciplines in a meaningful way. The stories that confirm the importance of the work are endless.

There was a gentleman we encountered one afternoon when we were out with the inflatable colon. He was walking from the health system to his car with his wife and happened to be leaving from his colonoscopy appointment. They had just left his procedure and they saw the inflatable colon so came by. He proceeded to share pictures from his procedure with all of the other individuals passing by, explaining that he had a polyp and that he was happy that the doctor got it out. He was proud that he had completed his colonoscopy and was telling everyone, “I just got mine. It’s not bad. Go get it done.” It’s moments like those that stick with me—and hopefully with others. We all need to yell from the mountain top that this disease is preventable.

Thank you for sharing your story with us! We look forward to hearing more about your work and UCLA Health’s progress in the future.

We highlight successes, leaders, best practices, and tools that are making an impact in the nationwide movement to reach 80% screened for colorectal cancer.

Do you have a suggestion for a future blog topic? We welcome you to share your suggestions by emailing nccrt@cancer.org.

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Opinions expressed in these blog posts are that of the author and do not represent policies of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable or the author’s institution.

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CRC News: July 8, 2021

2021 NCCRT Annual Meeting & 80% in Every Community Conference to go Virtual

We hope you are already saving the date for NCCRT’s 25th Annual Meeting and second 80% in Every Community Conference November 15-17, 2021, which will be held virtually again this year. While we will miss seeing you in person for the second year in a row, we are looking forward to bringing together even more colorectal cancer screening champions from across the country for three afternoons of dynamic presentations and discussions.

We are expanding our agenda to include more time for panels and concurrent sessions with national, regional, and local thought leaders, as well as more time for small group discussion and networking. Please hold the afternoons of November 15-17 from 1:00-4:30 PM ET and we will share the working agenda, registration, and more information in this newsletter and on the event webpage in the coming weeks.

NCCRT Welcomes a New Co-Director!

Kaitlin Sylvester, MPA, joins the NCCRT team as co-director, NCCRT – Programs and Partnerships. In this role, Kaitlin will primarily oversee and support the NCCRT Strategic Priority Teams, which includes building and maintaining key relationships with external partners, managing tasks and contributions of coalition members, and providing strategic input to guide projects to completion. Kaitlin will also lead the NCCRT’s activities in engaging and supporting comprehensive cancer control programs across the nation to prioritize colorectal cancer screening efforts. Previously, Kaitlin served as Senior Manager for Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships with the American Cancer Society in the South Region where she led a team charged with implementing state and system-based programs, initiatives, and events to advance prevention, early detection, and quality of life measures across the cancer continuum. Kaitlin received her Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Louisiana State University and currently serves on the Louisiana State University Department of Public Administration Advisory Board. In her spare time, Kaitlin enjoys running, baking bread and spending time with her husband and elderly dachshund. Kaitlin is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

We are thrilled for Kaitlin to join the NCCRT team and hope you will have the opportunity to get to know her soon!

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Addition of CRC Screening to the 2022 Medicaid Core Set

In May the Medicaid Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup met to make recommendations for changes to the Child and Adult Core Sets for 2022 and voted unanimously to recommend adding colorectal cancer screening as a quality measure.

The Workgroup’s draft report, Recommendations for Improving the Core Sets of Health Care Quality Measures for Medicaid and CHIP: Summary of a Multistakeholder Review of the 2022 Child and Adult Core Sets, has now been released for public comment ahead of the final report and release of the final 2022 Core Sets by December 31, 2021.

Public comments may be submitted via email to MACCoreSetReview@mathematica-mpr.com by 8:00 PM ET on Friday, August 6, 2021. Please include “2022 Core Set Review Public Comment” in the subject line and specify whether you are commenting as an individual or on behalf of an organization.

Thank you to the members of the NCCRT Policy Action Strategic Priority Team and partners that helped pave the way for this major milestone in tracking and reporting on CRC screening! Additionally, Margaret Hitchcock and Stony Anderson of the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition (C4) have generously offered to share a sample email developed to support the addition of the measure, which you are welcome to use and adapt.

Upcoming NCCRT Member Events

  • Registration is now open for the rescheduled Western CRC Consortium Conference (WC4) – Oct.14-15, 2021 (in person!) at UC Davis Conference Center. For all conference information, visit the event website. The Agenda is located under the Schedule link.
  • The American Cancer Society and the Mayo Clinic are partnering to host a free webinar on early age onset colorectal cancer on July 13, 2021 from 1:15-2:00 PM ET. Lisa A. Boardman, MD, will cover updates to national guidelines for patients at average risk, review criteria for earlier screening for patients at higher risk and discuss different approaches to t
  • reatment based on early onset and how these cancers have been staged.

Relevant Journal Articles, Publications, & Other News

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Recognizes Leaders in Colorectal Cancer Screening Efforts with 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Recognizes Leaders in Colorectal Cancer Screening Efforts with 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award

March 1, 2021 

Award honors individuals and organizations making tremendous progress toward the goal to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher despite challenges with COVID-19

 

ATLANTA, March 1, 2021 — The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), founded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is honoring leaders with the 2021 80% In Every Community National Achievement Award, given in recognition of distinguished, ongoing efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the United States.

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men and women, yet it can often be prevented or found at an early stage, when it’s small and may be easier to treat, with regular screening.

“Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools for preventing colorectal cancer or finding it early,” said Richard Wender, MD, Chair of Family Medicine and Community Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and NCCRT chair. “Yet screening rates remain low in many communities and the COVID-19 pandemic has further challenged efforts to address inadequate screening. We are honored to recognize the dedication of these community leaders that are working tirelessly to increase the number of people that have access to life-saving colorectal cancer screening, especially in disproportionately affected groups.”

80% in Every Community is an NCCRT initiative that works with community health centers, health plans, hospitals, health systems, employers, and others to reach 80% colorectal cancer screening rates nationally. More than 1,800 organizations have signed a pledge to make this goal a priority.

The 80% In Every Community National Achievement Award includes one grand prize winner and five other honorees. Each receives a monetary award to be used to support continued efforts to increase screening for colorectal cancer.

This year’s recipients include UCLA Health, Los Angeles, CA, as the grand prize winner; and other honorees include American Association of Medical Assistants, Chicago, IL; Arkansas Cancer Coalition, Little Rock, AR; Cynthia Yoshida, MD, Charlottesville, VA; Esperanza Health Centers, Chicago, IL; and St. Vincent de Paul Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ.

Award winners will be recognized during the annual NCCRT Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Webcast on March 16 at 3:00 PM ET featuring Dr. Wender and other guests celebrating the successes of the 80% in Every Community initiative and sharing more about colorectal cancer screening. Register to attend the live webcast and learn more about increasing colorectal cancer screening rates.

More details about this year’s recipients:

$3,000 Grand Prize Winner:
Category: Hospital/Health System
UCLA Health, Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Health provides health care to over 600,000 unique patients annually across Southern California. The UCLA Health Colorectal Cancer Awareness Campaign, launched in 2019, is the first system-wide cancer awareness and prevention effort at UCLA. The campaign is a health leadership commitment to increase colorectal cancer and screening awareness in the UCLA Health patient, provider, and staff community and in the greater Los Angeles area, including medically underserved populations. The multi-faceted campaign has included public awareness events, Dress in Blue Day, patient and provider education, patient-directed educational videos, community lectures, radio and media appearances, employee wellness and nutrition lectures, and a social media campaign. Starting in March 2020, the campaign adapted to provide virtual screening and awareness messages due to COVID-19 and has evolved to include a stronger focus on stool testing to allow patients access to screening from home. Despite national decreases in screening due to the pandemic, UCLA Health has seen an overall 10 percentage point increase in screening among the 389,000 primary care enrollees it serves and is currently planning a myriad of activities to further promote screening in March 2021.

$1,000 Honoree:
Category: Professional Association
American Association of Medical Assistants, Chicago, IL

The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care. In 2019, the AAMA partnered with NCCRT to launch a year-long education initiative to inform and equip medical assistants to educate patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and to help patients overcome barriers to being appropriately screened. The initiative featured continuing education offerings and articles in its bimonthly publication, CMA Today, during March 2020 and Medical Assistants Recognition Week in October 2020. A centerpiece of the AAMA’s initiative is the course Medical Assistants’ Roles in Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: Getting to 80%, which 3,964 individuals have successfully completed. Further, AAMA social media posts have resulted in approximately 183,613 impressions. The AAMA’s initiative affirms the vital role that medical assistants and other allied health professionals play in increasing colorectal cancer screening and contributing to the 80% in Every Community campaign.

$1,000 Honoree:
Category: Cancer Coalition/State Roundtable
Arkansas Cancer Coalition, Little Rock, AR

The Arkansas Cancer Coalition’s (ACC’s) mission is to facilitate and provide partnerships to reduce the human suffering and economic burden from cancer for the citizens of Arkansas. Formed in 1992, the ACC has led a multi-faceted approach to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among Arkansans with the engagement of numerous state partners, including the Arkansas Department of Health, the American Cancer Society, clinic and health system administrators, clinicians, and policymakers, among others. Uniting behind the shared goal to increase colorectal cancer screening rates, ACC members have collaborated on multiple colorectal cancer public awareness, advocacy, and provider education efforts. Major accomplishments include the awarding of nearly $400,000 in competitive grants to foster screening rate improvements across the state, largely in rural counties with lower income populations. Between 2012 and 2018, statewide screening rates rose from 56% to 66%, increasing 10 percentage points in six years compared to the national rate increase of four percentage points during this same time period (65% to 69%).

$1,000 Honoree:
Category:
Physician Champion
Cynthia Yoshida, MD, Charlottesville, VA
Dr. Cynthia Yoshida is a gastroenterologist, professor and medical lead for the University of Virginia Cancer Center Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. She also co-chairs the newly revitalized Virginia Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. A longtime advocate for colorectal cancer screening, Dr. Yoshida has led the development of a multifaceted colorectal cancer screening program at UVA to enable improved access to quality screening for employees, patients, and under-resourced communities across Virginia. Her team has been integral in building out a free colorectal cancer screening program, which has provided screening for over 400 uninsured patients in rural Virginia. This work is currently being expanded through partnerships with gastroenterology practices to ensure timely follow up to positive FIT tests with free or negotiated rates for colonoscopies, thus developing a safety net for the uninsured. Dr. Yoshida has also served on a number of committees for the American Gastroenterological Association and has been an active member of the American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

$1,000 Honoree:
Category:
Community Health Center
Esperanza Health Centers, Chicago, IL

Founded in 2004, Esperanza Health Centers’ mission is to deliver health and hope for Chicago’s underserved communities. In 2016, Esperanza began applying their team-based care approach to increase colorectal cancer screening rates from a baseline of 43% in 2015. In this model, every patient works with a dedicated three-person team – care coordinator, medical assistant, and provider – with each team member’s skills leveraged to best effect. Also instrumental is Esperanza’s data dashboard, which tracks screening rates monthly and allows them to identify care teams that are exceeding their goals and capture and share their best practices. Screening rates climbed to 69% in 2016 and reached 80% in 2017, with rates remaining above 80% through 2019. In 2018 and 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated Esperanza a National Quality Leader, an honor bestowed on fewer than 5% of federally qualified health centers nationwide. With COVID-19, care teams are focused on delivering fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) with prepaid mailers along with frequent reminders.

$1,000 Honoree:
Category: Free Clinic
St. Vincent de Paul Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

St. Vincent de Paul Medical Center, a free clinic based in Phoenix, Arizona, works to sustainably increase the health and well-being of the community, by empowering those who have the greatest need, yet the least resources. Since its founding in 1977, the clinic has evolved into a comprehensive health center providing thousands of visits annually to patients who are largely uninsured, undocumented, and speak only Spanish. Prior to 2015, the clinic had not practiced preventative medicine and the colorectal cancer screening rate was 8%. The clinic began a quality improvement project to increase rates and developed a standardized protocol utilizing a medical assistant-driven fecal immunochemical test (FIT) program. Staff identified and implemented numerous best practices, including destigmatizing testing methods, establishing standing orders, adopting standardized protocols, implementing a user-friendly patient registry, and communicating regular reminders. For the past four consecutive years, the clinic has reached or exceeded screening rates of 80%. The clinic is now working to catalyze regional improvements by sharing best practices and resources with other Arizona Safety Net clinics.

 

To learn more about the NCCRT, and the 80% In Every Community initiative, visit https://nccrt.org/.

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Emily Butler Bell, NCCRT, American Cancer Society, 404.653.5228, Emily.Butler@cancer.org

CRC News: September 25, 2020

Dear NCCRT Members,

 

We hope you and your families are staying safe and well. We have a few updates to share with you this week.

 

Agenda Posted & Registration Opening Next Week!: 80% in Every Community Conference & NCCRT Annual Meeting

Next week you will receive an email inviting you to register for the annual meeting of the NCCRT membership, which is now expanding to include the 80% in Every Community Conference, to be held virtually on Monday, November 16th and Tuesday, November 17th.

Strategic Priority Team (formerly task groups) meetings will be held in the weeks leading up to the conference, and sign-ups are open now. The NCCRT Orientation session will also be held in advance of this year’s conference.

Please save the dates and visit the 2020 80% in Every Community Conference and NCCRT Annual Meeting webpage to view the agenda and learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Learn More

Join a Strategic Priority Team

We Need Your Help to Find Best Practice Examples of CRC Screening During COVID-19!

What is your organization or healthcare setting doing to help patients continue getting screened for colorectal cancer during COVID-19? We’re looking for emerging best practices and innovations to share at our annual meeting and conference and on the 80% Blog. Please share what you are doing through this brief form!

NCCRT Leadership News

We wanted to share the news with you that NCCRT Steering Committee member, Dr. Durado Brooks, will be retiring from his position with the American Cancer Society early next month. Dr. Brooks began his career at ACS in 2000 and has served as the NCCRT’s permanent ACS representative to the NCCRT Steering Committee since that time. He has also co-chaired the NCCRT Community Health Center Task Group since 2012. Dr. Brooks’ work in colorectal cancer prevention and early detection and his unwavering commitment to health equity and reducing disparities will have a lasting impact on all of us and on our ongoing efforts to reach 80% in Every Community. Please join us in thanking Dr. Brooks for his many contributions to our mission and wishing him well in his next chapter.

Reminder: Call for NCCRT Steering Committee Nominations

We are currently seeking nominations for the NCCRT Steering Committee, which provides strategic guidance to the NCCRT through participation in Steering Committee meetings, calls, and the NCCRT Annual Meeting. Steering Committee responsibilities include strategic planning, membership approval, oversight of NCCRT projects, and general leadership. The term of service is for two years beginning November 2020 and is renewable for one term. The names of nominees are submitted to the Nominating Committee, which reviews the nominations and selects the slate of Steering Committee candidates. The slate of candidates will be presented by email to the NCCRT membership prior to the Annual Meeting to be voted on at the Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually on November 16th and 17th.

Self-nominations are accepted. Traditionally, the Nominating Committee has preferred candidates who have a history of engagement with the NCCRT. Representatives from our Corporate Associates may not serve on the Steering Committee, but they may nominate other candidates. Please note that nominees are not guaranteed a spot on the Steering Committee, as this can be a competitive process. Having said that, we are grateful to all individuals who are willing to put themselves forward as nominees. Serving on the Steering Committee is a big commitment, and Steering Committee members play a vital role in the work of the NCCRT.

If you are interested in submitting your name to the Nominating Committee for consideration or would like to nominate someone, please email Emily Butler Bell at Emily.Butler@cancer.org by end of day Thursday, October 1st. Nominees are asked to submit a Statement of Interest (1,000 word maximum) along with a CV by this deadline.

Fight Colorectal Cancer Announces Grant Opportunity

Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), an NCCRT member, announced a grant funding opportunity through the Catalyst State-by-State Advocacy Program which aims to accelerate progress toward turning aspirational colorectal cancer screening goals into reality by increasing access and reducing barriers to colorectal cancer screening. Grants will be provided to state-level programs that can demonstrate readiness to build coalition and partnership activity with the end goal of implementing state-level policy change to advance colorectal cancer screening. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 and will be disbursed over a two-year period. Grant funding will be supplemented with action planning support and other technical assistance from Fight CRC. Learn more about the Catalyst Program and apply by the deadline on October 15, 2020.

New American Cancer Society Website for Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs

For over 20 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has provided training and technical assistance to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CDC NCCCP) grantees and coalitions. As part of that technical assistance, ACS recently launched a new website, www.acs4ccc.org, which compiles ACS resources to inform the work of comprehensive cancer control (CCC) programs/coalitions. Explore links to webinars, toolkits and online courses produced by ACS CCC, as well as curated links to coalition-friendly info and resources from across the ACS enterprise — Roundtables, state data, health equity resources, and cancer guidelines.

 

Many thanks for the great work you do.

 

The NCCRT Team

 

 

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CRC News: September 10, 2020

 

Dear NCCRT Members,

We hope you and your families are staying safe and well. We have a few updates to share with you this week.

But first, we wish to share our heartfelt condolences with the family, friends, and fans of Chadwick Boseman, whose death serves as a sobering reminder that we have much work to do to tackle rising rates of colorectal cancer in young people and unacceptably high colorectal cancer death rates in the Black community. But it is his life and portrayal of the strength of the human spirit that inspires us to fight in his honor. We are humbled by the collective action that’s been taken to raise awareness that is following in the wake of his death. There are far too many examples to list here, but we’re inspired by the multitude of responses to his death, including this article from the New York Times featuring Rebecca Siegel, MPH, the scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society; this PSA about colorectal cancer and screening from gastroenterologists across the US; a PSA call to action to get screened from Dr. Rachel Issaka of Fred Hutch; a recent CNN piece by Dr. Folasade May of UCLA; as well as numerous statements and interactive conversations hosted by NCCRT members and other partners. We encourage you to follow @NCCRTnews and tag us in your posts to keep up this life-saving conversation.

Registration Opening Soon!: 80% in Every Community Conference & NCCRT Annual Meeting

Later this month registration will open for NCCRT’s annual meeting of the NCCRT membership, which is now expanding to include the 80% in Every Community Conference, to be held virtually on Monday, November 16th and Tuesday, November 17th from 1 to 4:30 pm ET each day. Task group meetings and our NCCRT Orientation session will be held in the weeks prior to the meeting. Timing for these sessions and registration will be announced in the next couple weeks. Meanwhile, please save the dates and learn more about the 2020 80% in Every Community Conference and NCCRT Annual Meeting, as well as sponsorship opportunities.

Call for NCCRT Steering Committee Nominations

We are currently seeking nominations for the NCCRT Steering Committee. The NCCRT Steering Committee provides strategic guidance to the NCCRT through participation in Steering Committee meetings, calls, and the NCCRT Annual Meeting. Steering Committee responsibilities include strategic planning, membership approval, oversight of NCCRT projects, and general leadership. The term of service is for two years beginning November 2020 and is renewable for one term. The names of nominees are submitted to the Nominating Committee, which reviews the nominations and selects the slate of Steering Committee candidates. The slate of candidates will be presented by email to the NCCRT membership prior to the Annual Meeting to be voted on at the Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually on November 16th and 17th.

Self-nominations are accepted. Traditionally, the Nominating Committee has preferred candidates who have a history of engagement with the NCCRT. Representatives from our Corporate Associates may not serve on the Steering Committee, but they may nominate other candidates. Please note that nominees are not guaranteed a spot on the Steering Committee, as this can be a competitive process. Having said that, we are grateful to all individuals who are willing to put themselves forward as nominees. Serving on the Steering Committee is a big commitment, and Steering Committee members play a vital role in the work of the NCCRT.

If you are interested in submitting your name to the Nominating Committee for consideration or would like to nominate someone, please email Emily Butler Bell at Emily.Butler@cancer.org by end of day Thursday, October 1st. Nominees are asked to submit a Statement of Interest (1,000 word maximum) along with a CV by this deadline.

New Healthy People 2030 Goals Released

The Healthy People initiative addresses public health priorities by setting national objectives and tracking them over the decade. The newly released objective for colorectal cancer screening, Increase the proportion of adults who get screened for colorectal cancer — C‑07, aims to increase the proportion of adults who receive a colorectal cancer screening based on the most recent guidelines to 74.4 percent by 2030, which represents an increase from the previous Healthy People 2020 target of 70.5 percent. Healthy People 2030 also includes an objective to reduce the colorectal cancer death rate to 8.9 colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 population and there is an objective that is under research to increase the proportion of persons with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer who receive genetic testing to identify Lynch syndrome (or familial colorectal cancer syndromes).

Relevant Journal Articles and Publications

 

Many thanks for the great work you do.

The NCCRT Team

 

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