UAMS’ Partnerships for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Arkansas (PiCS-AR!) recently joined with Mid-Delta Health System to expand the number of clinics working to reduce late-stage colorectal cancer in the state. Mid-Delta has a clinic in Clarendon and DeWitt, which are in Monroe and Arkansas counties.
PiCS-AR! is a project of the UAMS Department of Family and Preventive Medicine’s Community Health and Education Division. In 2020, the division received a $2.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase colorectal cancer screening and reduce late-stage colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
“We thought Mid-Delta would be a good partner because their demographics reflect those at high risk for colorectal cancer,” said Marybeth Curtis, BSN, Program Manager for the grant. “Looking at the counties they serve, they have some of the highest rates of cancer in the state. Also, the percentage of uninsured at each clinic is 12% at DeWitt and 9% in Clarendon, which hinders patients from getting a colonoscopy, the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening.”
Curtis said the rate of colorectal cancer screening in both the Clarendon and Dewitt clinics is low with Dewitt at 29.5% and Clarendon at 44%. The national goal is 80% as set by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. Adults should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45.
PiCS-AR! team member, Stacey George, APRN, with Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, works directly with PiCS-AR! clinics to maximize their electronic medical records to flag patients 45 and older who need screening. She also coaches the patient navigators on best practices and monitors how well the clinics are faring with screening rates.
“Mid-Delta Health Systems wanted to join PICS-AR! to increase their colorectal screenings and get our patients the care needed in the early stage of diagnosis,” said Monica Lindley, CEO of Mid-Delta Health Systems.
PiCS-AR! has also been working with 1st Choice Healthcare in northeast Arkansas since the project began late in 2020. Since 1st Choice joined the partnership, they’ve seen a 9% increase overall in colorectal cancer screening at their six clinics.