Scott & White Health Plan Joins American Cancer Society 80 by 2018 Initiative

Program aims to get 80 percent of adults regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018

Scott & White Health Plan, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, pledges to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the "80% by 2018" initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC). 

"We are excited to be part of this national effort to prevent colorectal cancer," said Mary Davis, MD, chief medical officer of the Scott & White Health Plan. "This pledge solidifies our commitment to supporting our members and our communities in preventing this disease."

The Scott & White Health Plan became the second health insurer in Texas to join the "80% by 2018" National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative, joining more than 500 U.S. organizations that have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer, a major public health problem.

"Scott & White Health Plan is a tremendous asset to reaching people who we may not normally reach," said Danny Ingram, executive vice president and operating officer for the ACS – High Plains Division.  "We are grateful for the partnership to increase the awareness with the goal of saving lives."

Colorectal cancer is the nation's second leading cause of cancer-related deaths; however it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Screening can identify colorectal cancer in its earliest stages, when it is more easily treated and curable. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths, called polyps, in the colon, helping to prevent cancer altogether. It is important to talk to friends and family members who are over 50 years of age about getting screened for colorectal cancer.

"This is extremely important for all of our patients at Baylor Scott & White who are 50 years of age or older," said Andrejs Avots-Avotins, vice president of medical affairs and a  gastroenterologist at Scott & White Medical Center - Temple. "As part of our efforts to embrace population health, we endeavor to prevent chronic illness or disease. With the "80% by 18" initiative, we are encouraging our providers to discuss colorectal cancer screening options with their patients as well as asking all members of our community to come together and help us by getting screened."

Studies show that colorectal cancer screening saves lives. While U.S. colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, 132,700 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in 2015. 

"It's a cancer that many people are uncomfortable talking about," said Andrea Taurins, senior director for community engagement for ACS – High Plains Division. "Part of this campaign is also to better educate about the cancer and screening to help to fight the stigma and eliminate any the fear that would prevent individuals from being screened."

Part of the "80% by 2018" goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients and providers to increase screening rates. The initiative includes health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups that are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer.

"We have a dual mode of intervention, we are not only reaching out to members, but encouraging our physician groups to offer stool-based screening tests, such as a FIT (fecal immunochemical test), as another option to colonoscopy," said Emran Rouf, MD, medical director of the Scott & White Health Plan. "It is in our best interest to increase the screening rates for colorectal cancer as part of our commitment to be a quality driven health plan." 

To learn more about this initiative, visit https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html

For more information or to learn about resources in your area, visit: http://www.swhp.org/

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* based on audited 2016 fiscal year statement

MEDIA CONTACT:

Deke Jones
deke.jones@bswhealth.org
214-820-6722

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com