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Operation Pink B.A.G. (Bridging the Access Gap)

Cancer Data Registry of Idaho

Operation PINK B.A.G. (Bridging the Access Gap) is a collaborative project, with partners representing St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute, Saint Alphonsus Breast Care Center, West Valley Medical Center, and Mercy Medical Center, along with the American Cancer Society, Blue Cross of Idaho, Cancer Data Registry of Idaho (CDRI), Idaho Hospital Association, Qualis Health, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Women's Health Check program.

Project participants seek to increase the frequency of breast cancer screening in age-eligible women residing in underserved communities in Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, and Washington counties. Additionally, Operation Pink B.A.G. focuses on identifying and implementing a best-practice model.

Before 2007, Idaho ranked 50th in the nation for screening mammography rates. Operation Pink B.A.G. has identified five steps to improve Idaho's mammography rates—

  • Develop a matrix of services to help all partners making referrals for breast screening services. This resource will identify gaps in available resources.
  • Identify a best practice model for breast cancer screening.
  • Identify and enlist a team of experts to partner with rural communities for training and implementing the best practice screening model.
  • Develop systems that can be replicated in other communities and regions of Idaho.
  • Increase access to and distribution of funded mammography services in underserved areas and communities where disparities have been identified due to low income.

In 2008, Idaho's mammography screening rate improved from 50th to 46th in the nation. CDRI staff maintain the Web site and work with mammography facilities to keep the data current. CDRI data regarding incidence, survival, and staging have been used extensively by Operation PINK B.A.G. stakeholders to identify geographic patterns and target training and education to providers and the public.

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