Press Releases

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Recognizes Leaders in Colorectal Cancer Screening Efforts with 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award
Feb 26, 2018
Award honors individuals and organizations contributing to fight against colorectal cancer

February 26, 2018--The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recognized seven 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 Unites States.  

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. Over 1,600 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.

This year’s recipients include Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, Oklahoma City, OK, as the grand prize winner; and other honorees include AltaMed Health Services, Los Angeles, CA; Ameren, St. Louis, MO; Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, Columbus, OH; Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Samuel C. Pace, M.D., Tupelo, MS; and the Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.

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 these extraordinary awardees for their dedication and efforts to continue to increase awareness that colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but only if people get tested,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer, American Cancer Society.

Grand Prize Winner: Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Category: Community Health Center

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing services to nearly 20,000 American Indians in central Oklahoma from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year, has implemented many practice changes to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. These include forming a quality improvement committee that meets quarterly to analyze and review evidence-based practices and current initiatives, systematizing patient and provider reminders, improving tracking in the electronic health record, offering incentives for completing screening at health fairs, and providing navigation to patients in need of follow up care. OKCIC also implemented a multidisciplinary approach to provide patients in need of screening with a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) which included public health, pharmacy, and registration staff, and improved access to screenings by offering a Flu-FIT clinic in the fall. As a result, OKCIC has increased colorectal cancer screening rates among age-eligible patients from 14% in 2007 to 64% in 2016, while patient volume increased by 27%.

Honoree: AltaMed Health Services
Category: Community Health Center

As the nation’s largest federally qualified health center, AltaMed Health Services provides care to nearly 300,000 Southern California residents at 35 accredited sites in largely Latino, multi-ethnic and underserved communities. Screening rates have increased from 39% in 2012 to 67% in 2017 among age-eligible patients. To increase rates, the health center offers ongoing provider and staff training, automated point of care reminders, standing medical orders, incomplete colonoscopy referral follow up, patient outreach phone calls, sets quarterly targets and creates provider incentives for meeting performance goals. AltaMed also delivers colorectal cancer screening information to patients through its internal and external channels such as in-clinic TV screens, newsletters, and social media. In 2014, AltaMed piloted direct mailing FIT tests to patients who are due or overdue for screening, a practice that is now enterprise-wide. Patient messages and materials are translated and culturally tailored for patients.

Honoree: Ameren
Category: Employer

St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren's mission, "to power the quality of life," includes a long-standing commitment to the well-being of its 8,600 co-workers. In 2016, Ameren signed the 80% by 2018 pledge and began partnering with the American Cancer Society to encourage colorectal cancer screening and awareness among co-workers. The company works with its health plan to send targeted mailings to employees and spouses ages 50 and older who have not been screened. Ameren also encourages screenings at employee health fairs, in its newsletter, in digital message boards, and by inviting co-workers to sign a pledge to demonstrate their personal commitment to get screened. As a result, screening rates have increased from 58% to 72% in just two years.

Honoree: Ohio Academy of Family Physicians
Category: Medical Professional Society

Since 2008, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) has organized a physician-led practice improvement project to increase colorectal cancer screenings in family practices across Ohio. The goal of the project is to assist family physicians and their care teams to increase colorectal cancer screening rates through a multi-stage, quality improvement initiative that focuses on a systematic approach to enhanced primary care. To date, nearly 100 primary care practices across Ohio have participated in the colorectal cancer screening practice improvement project, with more than half of all participating practices exceeding or achieving the 80% screening rate goal. Even practices that did not achieve 80% reported significant improvement in colorectal cancer screenings. The program not only improves patient health outcomes, but also helps strengthen practice efficiencies, and team communication. Partner organizations include: Ohio Department of Health, American Cancer Society, North Central Region, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, and the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians.

Honoree: The Ohio State University
Category: Health System

Since 2015, the Ohio State University’s (OSU’s) Provider and Community Engagement (PACE) Program for Health Equity in Colorectal Cancer Prevention, led by Dr. Darrell Gray, has promoted colorectal cancer screening in Central Ohio and beyond. Activities include guided tours through an inflatable colon, community lectures and cooking demonstrations, “Walk with a Doc” grocery store tours, an annual colorectal cancer phonebank hosted with a local news station, and an annual cancer disparities conference for healthcare providers, researchers and advocates. The PACE Program also provides low-to-no cost colonoscopies to uninsured and underinsured Ohioans. Screening rates among some OSU primary care practices have reached 72%. Additionally, screening rates among neighboring federally qualified health centers are steadily increasing. The program is a collaborative and multidisciplinary initiative involving patient navigators, financial counseling and marketing staff, doctors, students, endoscopy nurses and technicians, community partners, and many volunteers. Learn more about the PACE Program’s work in this short video:

Honoree: Samuel C. Pace, M.D.,
Category: Survivor/Physician Champion

Dr. Samuel Pace started his career in gastroenterology in 1986, later serving as Governor for Mississippi for the American College of Gastroenterology. It came as a surprise when in 2011 he received his own diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Since then, he’s taken a leadership role in promoting colorectal cancer awareness across the state of Mississippi, where residents experience some of the highest incidence and mortality rates, yet the lowest screening rates. He was an early leader and “Physician Champion” in Mississippi’s 70x2020 Colorectal Cancer Initiative, which seeks to increase screening among age-eligible Mississippians to 70% by 2020. He secured legislative approval for a specialty automobile license plate, the first of its kind in the country. He also champions awareness efforts, including Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott colorectal cancer PSAs, “Blue Tie Affair”, "Run for Your Buns 5K" and a “Barbershop Talk” program.

Honoree: Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln
Category: Community

Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln leads the Nebraska Physicians Cancer Screening Initiative, a community-based practice improvement project that aims to increase breast and colorectal cancer screenings in primary care practices, federally qualified health centers, and a family practice residency program in Lincoln and across Nebraska, a state in which residents experience a higher incidence of colorectal cancer than in other states, yet the screening rate is below the national average. Since 2016, the initiative has brought together 32 primary care clinics and seven Federally Qualified Health Centers representing more than 179 primary care providers to implement systematic changes that will allow them to identify and screen more patients for breast and colorectal cancer. To date, nearly all the participating practices are reporting significant colorectal cancer screening rate increases, with four clinics already reaching or surpassing the 80% screening rate goal, and many others close to reaching the goal.

Award winners will be recognized during the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month kickoff event on March 8 in Los Angeles. The event will feature celebrities, survivors and medical experts. The event will be broadcast live on from 1:00 – 1:20 pm PT, and the panel discussions will broadcast on from 1:20 – 2:00 pm PT.

To learn more about the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, visit