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Local Program Highlights

Local colorectal cancer control programs (CRCCPs) work with partners to find ways to increase colorectal cancer screening. Learn more from these examples.

Georgia Provider Increases Screening

Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc., a community health center that offers colorectal cancer screening through Georgia’s CRCCP, works with the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia to increase colorectal cancer screening in southwest Georgia in these ways—

  • Audits of patient charts.
  • Reminders for patients, such as letters and follow-up phone calls.
  • Reminders for doctors.
  • Patient navigation services.
  • Partnerships with people and groups in the community, such as doctors, hospitals, public health organizations, and cancer survivors.

As a result, more than five times as many people got screened for colorectal cancer at Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc. in 2010 than in 2004.

Medicaid and Managed Care in Maryland

The Maryland CRCCP partnered with the state’s Medicaid program to encourage residents who receive Medicaid benefits to get screened for colorectal cancer. They sent 60,000 Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign postcards to state Medicaid recipients who were 50 years old or older. (Screen for Life is a campaign that explains the importance of getting colorectal cancer screening tests regularly.) The postcards included phone numbers for health care providers that people could call to set up an appointment or get information.

Managed care organizations that serve people on Medicaid in Maryland are keeping track of whether the people who received postcards got screened, to see if the postcards are effective.

Reaching Out to Doctors in Montana

The Montana CRCCP uses tools made by the American Cancer Society and other groups to tell doctors and office staff about ways to increase screening, such as doctor recommendations, office policies, an office reminder system, and effective communication. To date, 40 doctor’s offices in Montana have made changes suggested by the Montana CRCCP. In three of these doctor’s offices a year later, the number of patients who are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening doubled, and the number of doctor recommendations to get screened for colorectal cancer tripled.

Working with Employers in Pennsylvania

To learn how to increase colorectal screening in the community, the Pennsylvania CRCCP sent a survey to some companies in Pennsylvania to find out—

  • How many companies provide health insurance that covers colorectal cancer screening.
  • How many employees use the screening coverage.
  • The availability of screening support services, including educational materials and policies supporting screening.
  • If companies want the Pennsylvania CRCCP to educate their employees about colorectal cancer for free.

In 2009, the Pennsylvania CRCCP partnered with General Electric (GE) Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania, to increase colorectal cancer screening. GE Transportation is one of the largest companies in northwestern Pennsylvania, with more than 7,000 employees. GE also has a robust global wellness plan for employees.

Although GE Transportation provided free colorectal cancer screening, few employees got screened. Trained health educators from the Pennsylvania CRCCP joined GE Transportation safety educators for monthly 45-minute group education sessions about colorectal cancer. After about four months, more than 800 employees had attended a session, and 4% more employees got screened for colorectal cancer.

In 2011, the Pennsylvania CRCCP worked with the Drexel University School of Public Health to make a video about colorectal cancer, which is being tested at GE Transportation. The video tells about risk factors and causes of colorectal cancer, explains the different screening tests, and shares survivors’ personal stories. Before and after watching the video, viewers answer questions about their lifestyle, their opinions about colorectal cancer, whether they have been screened before, and whether they intend to be screened. The Drexel University School of Public Health will use the answers to find out if the video is a good way to encourage people to get screened for colorectal cancer. The Pennsylvania CRCCP has shown the video in other divisions of GE.

Small Media Campaigns in Utah

In 2010, Utah started a small media campaign to increase colorectal cancer screening in the state. It increased the number of people who had seen, heard, or read an advertisement about getting a colonoscopy from 58% in 2009 to 82% in 2010. People also thought the advertisements were more convincing in 2010 (48%) than in 2009 (30%).

Utah started a print campaign called “Make Sense” in 2012. It uses images like record album covers and popular television shows, and popular phrases to appeal to people who are 50 years old or older.