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National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Recognizes Leaders in Colorectal Cancer Prevention Effort with 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award
Award honors individuals and organizations that contribute to ongoing progress in the fight against colorectal cancer

ATLANTA, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has recognized a combined total of six honorees as 2017 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award winners, a prestigious national honor recognizing leadership in the ongoing effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the United States.  

The 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award recognizes individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to regularly screen 80% of adults 50 and over by 2018. Over 1,300 organizations – including medical professional societies, academic centers, survivor groups, government agencies, cancer coalitions, cancer centers, payers, and many others – have signed a pledge to make this goal a priority. This program seeks to highlight the work of 80% by 2018 partners and other leaders and organizations who are advancing this important goal.

After a competitive review of nominees from all over the country, the NCCRT has named Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center of Illinois as this year's grand prize winner. This medical center will receive $3,000 to support their continued efforts in the fight against colorectal cancer. Other notable honorees include C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics of Florida; Candace Henley of the Blue Hat Foundation in Illinois; Great Plains Quality Innovation Network of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; Surgery on Sunday Louisville, Inc. of Kentucky; and the Veterans Health Administration, who will each receive $1,000. Honorees also have the option to designate a non-profit of their choice as the recipient of the award funds.

"We are moving full speed ahead in our efforts to reach an ambitious public health goal: an 80% colorectal cancer screening rate by 2018," says Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society. "Fortunately, we have boots on the ground working every day to reach this goal. Whether it's a health system engaging their patient base or an individual working with local faith-based institutions, each of our six honorees is a testament to the value and impact of organization and effort. Their work is relentless, their successes are enormous, and I'm confident that they are saving lives."

Grand Prize: Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Category: Hospital
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center of Chicago, one of Illinois's largest nonprofit medical centers, increased colorectal cancer screening from approximately 25% in 2014 to 70% in 2016, which amounts to over 50,000 patients screened. The medical center mobilized partners from surgery, gastroenterology, oncology, and colleagues across its service area to implement a fully navigated Direct Access Screening Colonoscopy (DASC) program. This program allows primary care and specialty providers to refer patients directly for colonoscopy (including on Saturdays) to the hospital, creating seamless access to screenings. As a result, colonoscopy wait time shrunk from over two months to two weeks. Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center also conducts community outreach, speaking at community events and distributing fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). The medical center is now working across Advocate Health Care's 12-hospital system to help widely implement changes, and is providing leadership by sharing their work at national conferences and providing training to other Chicago-area hospitals.

Honoree: C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics
Category: Community Health Center
C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, a nine-clinic FQHC serving over 100,000 low-income patients per year in Palm Beach County, Florida, increased their colorectal cancer screening rate among age-eligible patients from 37% in 2014 to 75% in 2016. The Brumback Clinics have implemented a number of practice changes to increase screening, including weekly provider-specific screening rate reports, patient navigation to encourage patients to complete FITs and collaboration with the local hospital to implement an open access colonoscopy protocol so that patients only need to make one trip to the hospital for their exam. Most innovatively, the Brumback Clinics piloted a "poop on demand" strategy in which the stool sample for the FIT test is collected during the clinic visit rather than at home. This improved the rate of returned FIT test kits by 30%.

Honoree: Candace Henley
Category: Survivor Champion
Candace Henley was diagnosed with stage IIB colon cancer in 2003, six months after first seeking medical care for her symptoms. Candace often tells people she felt like her life was hit by a hurricane as she struggled to care for her five daughters while going through treatment. Today, Candace raises awareness of the disease in minority and medically underserved communities. She launched an awareness event, Blue Hat Bow Tie Sunday™, at her church in Chicago, Illinois in 2010. The program promotes "education through participation" by asking the congregation to wear blue in honor of someone who is currently diagnosed with or has passed on from the disease. Now in its seventh year, the program has spread to 15 churches across the nation. Candace has since founded the Blue Hat Foundation, through which she works as a passionate advocate, speaking to audiences about the life-saving potential of colorectal cancer screening.

Honoree: Great Plains Quality Innovation Network
Category: Quality Improvement Organization
The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (GPQIN), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, launched an innovative regional collaboration to increase colorectal cancer screening with funding provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. GPQIN partnered with stakeholders across the four-state region to facilitate a regional learning and action network, host webinars and provide technical assistance to support evidence-based systems change interventions at 57 clinics. Of the 43 clinics that are currently able to track their rates, all have reported improvements, with one screening as many as 84% of eligible patients. GPQIN also partnered with key stakeholders to engage 30 organizations in implementing Flu-FIT interventions in the fall of 2016, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Indian Health Service clinics, pharmacy sites, and others, many in rural areas.

Honoree: Surgery on Sunday Louisville, Inc.
Category: Community-based Organization
Surgery on Sunday Louisville, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides free colonoscopies and outpatient surgical procedures to uninsured and underinsured residents of Kentucky. The organization is built on a collaborative model in which every hospital in the Louisville area shares a responsibility in providing in kind services to offer colonoscopies to members of the community who could not otherwise afford colorectal cancer screening. These individuals are also at increased risk; in Kentucky, patients who lack insurance have more than twice the odds of being diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer. Since its founding in 2013, Surgery on Sunday Louisville, Inc. has recruited over 500 volunteers to treat more than 270 patients, leading to the treatment of over 125 polyps and two cancers. The organization is now assisting communities in other states to replicate their successful model of partnering to deliver pro bono care to the patients that need it most.

Honoree: Veterans Health Administration
Category: Health Plan
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) raised its colorectal cancer screening rates from 68% in 2001 to 80% in 2009, and has surpassed 80% each year since—a remarkable achievement given that it is the country's largest integrated health system, serving approximately 9 million veterans. VHA achieved this success by making changes in multiple areas and involving the expertise and cooperation of clinicians, researchers, medical informaticists and organizational leaders. For example, VHA employed clinical decision support tools within its electronic health record to identify Veterans that are eligible for screening. VHA also established new policies that mandated providers to offer screening to those individuals and to provide timely diagnostic evaluation. Performance metrics are used to provide feedback to clinicians. This work is accompanied by a significant investment in research to determine the best ways to screen for colorectal cancer (including a large-scale comparative effectiveness study of FIT and colonoscopy) to ultimately reduce colorectal cancer mortality.

Each winner will be recognized on a live broadcast on March 1, 2017. To learn more about this or about any of the 2017 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award honorees, visit www.nccrt.org.  

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 23 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Ashley Engelman, Ashley.Engelman@cancer.org, 312-502-7443