Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined and is expected to cause approximately 52,980 deaths during 2021, according to cancer.org. PiCS-AR!, funded by a $2.5 million, five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hopes to combat this in counties with low screening rates with the help of primary care clinics using evidence-based interventions. Three partners fuel PiCS-AR!’s mission.
The Community Health and Education Division of UAMS’ Department of Family and Preventive Medicine houses the project. Director and PiCS-AR! creator Alysia Dubriske, M.Ed, is the principal investigator, joined by Marybeth Curtis, BSN, who manages the program, and Jessica Presley and Rosario Silva are the evaluators. Andrea Hooten, MBA, is the communications coordinator, and Colleen Lassiter is business coordinator.
Clinic Quality Improvement
Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Practice Transformation (AFMC PT) focuses on quality improvement, offering expertise in cancer screening measures and practice transformation. The AFMC PT staff meet with the health care clinics regularly and provide support for gathering/abstracting quality colorectal cancer screening data and performing routine data validation. They offer ideas and support change through implementation of evidence-based interventions, and supporting activities.
1st Choice Healthcare is our initial clinical partner with 25 providers in six locations across northeast Arkansas. We hope to add more clinics within the next five years.
These clinics serve a mostly rural population with lower incomes, lower education levels and a lower colorectal cancer screening rate than much of the state. The clinics have seen growth of up to seven percent more screenings than a year ago.
F.I.T. Just Takes a Bit
1st Choice Healthcare staff and providers promoted the “F.I.T. Just Takes a Bit” campaign in March as part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. They created a fun atmosphere and handed out F.I.T. kits for every eligible patient. F.I.T. kits are less invasive than colonoscopies, easy for patients to use and are effective in testing for colorectal cancer.