In Case You Missed It: Maine Federally Qualified Health Centers Complete Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates

In an effort to bring heightened awareness, strategic direction and actionable measures to achieving breakthrough improvements in colorectal cancer screening rates, the Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), along with members: HealthReach Community Health Centers, Nasson Health Care and Penobscot Community Health Care, recently completed a 15-month quality improvement initiative led by the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Although treatable and often cured when detected early on, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer diagnosed. According to American Cancer Society estimates, in 2016 there is expected to be:

  • 95,270 new cases of colon cancer;
  • 39,220 new cases of rectal cancer; and
  • 49,190 resulting deaths.

Based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) model of collaboration, the ACS-directed learning initiative was designed to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across New England with the ultimate aim of improving population health and patient experience.

Maine Primary Care Association’s Director of Continuous Quality Improvement, Jeff Brown, stated, “The American Cancer Society and Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers will continue to apply lessons learned from this initiative which has revealed barriers to patient engagement in colorectal cancer screening, and opportunities to overcome them. The dedication and compassion of American Cancer Society personnel and community health center staff in combatting this and other forms of cancer are an inspiration to all of us at the Maine Primary Care Association.” 

For more information about this learning collaborative or other quality improvement initiatives, please email Jeff Brown.