For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015     

CONTACT: Susan Lamontagne at 631.899.3825 or 


Increasing Colon Cancer Screening Among High-Risk Patients in Arizona

Adelante Healthcare of Phoenix Receives $150,000 to Tackle Widespread Chronic Condition

NEW YORK, NY—While a large segment of Adelante Healthcare’s patient population is at high risk for colon cancer, only a fraction are screened for the deadly condition. To tackle this significant health challenge, the RCHN Community Health Foundation has awarded Adelante $150,000 to develop strategies and systems to improve colon cancer screening rates.

“When caring for vulnerable communities, there is rarely a simple solution,” said Adelante’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Elk, MD. “This grant will help us to unravel some of the challenges and improve our systems to improve colon cancer screening rates among our high-risk patients.”

As part of its Colorectal Patient Navigation Initiative, Adelante plans to increase colon cancer screening rates among older patients age 50 – 75 at highest risk for cancer bringing the center closer to the Healthy People 2020 screening goal of 70.5%. They also plan to improve the rate of appropriate follow-up care, including colonoscopies, for those with positive screening results, and bring community physicians and nurses together to improve services available to uninsured patients who require follow up.

Building on an earlier successful collaboration with Arizona State University College of Nursing, Adelante is launching a team of health coaches and coordinators to embed preventive screening across the health center and strengthen the patient-centered model of care. Other partners in the initiative include the Arizona Department of Health Services, American Cancer Society, and Advanced Care Gastroenterology.

“A critical part of improving our nation’s health is to more effectively reach and care for those who face cultural or systemic barriers are limiting their ability to lead healthier lives,” said Feygele Jacobs, president and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation (RCHN CHF). “Our foundation is pleased to support innovative projects to improve the health of vulnerable populations and share lessons learned on how to deliver health care that works better for our communities.”

Adelante is one of six grantees in five states that will receive $150,000 each to develop and launch a population health focused program. Other projects include initiatives to improve pediatric care management and reduce child and teen ER visits by Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Queensbury, NY; reduce smoking among Asian Americans by Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY; reduce diabetes-related emergencies by ACCESS Family Care, Neosho, MO; improve cervical cancer screening rates in health center communities by Colorado Community Health Network, Denver, CO; and establish a medical home for the homeless by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Santa Rosa, CA.

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Adelante Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit primary health care provider serving more than 40,000 patients in Central Arizona each year. Founded 34 years ago in the cotton fields and citrus groves of rural Maricopa County, Adelante now runs eight community health centers offering family and internal medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, dental, pharmacy, lab and WIC/nutrition services.  Learn more about how Adelante Healthcare is improving the health of our communities, making healthcare affordable and seeking to operate in an environmentally responsible manner at

The RCHN Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support community health centers through strategic investment, outreach, education, and cutting-edge health policy research. The only foundation in the U.S. dedicated solely to community health centers, RCHN CHF builds on a long-standing commitment to providing accessible, high-quality, community-based healthcare services for underserved and medically vulnerable populations. For more information, visit