For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015
Colorado Community Health Network Receives $150,000 to Improve
Cervical Cancer Screening Rates in Colorado
NEW YORK, NY—With a health center population at high risk for cervical cancer, the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) was awarded $150,000 from the RCHN Community Health Foundation to launch a project to improve screening rates for the deadly disease in Community Health Centers (CHCs) across the state.
“The federal government recently changed guidelines for when Pap tests are required and we want to be sure patients and providers understand the new recommendations,” said Jessica Sanchez, FNP, chief quality and development officer at CCHN, Colorado’s primary care association representing the state’s 18 CHCs. “This grant will help us to improve health center systems to bring more women in for screening and follow up.”
Colorado has an estimated incidence of 160 new cervical cancer cases and 40 cervical cancer deaths each year, and the low-income, minority population served by CHCs is at elevated risk. While 59 percent of adult women received one or more tests to screen for cervical cancer, that rate is still below federal guidelines, reflecting social determinants.
“We plan to improve cervical cancer screening rates in six Colorado CHCs by at least five percent in the first year of our program,” said Sanchez. “Our centers will also work to enhance team-based care and increase the number of women receiving preventive care.”
The six CHCs where the pilot project, “Improving Cervical Cancer Screen Rates in Colorado Community Health Centers,” will initially be rolled out are:
- Denver Health Community Health Services, Denver
- Metro Community Provider Network, Englewood
- Mountain Family Health Center, Glenwood Springs
- Clinica Family Health Services, Lafayette
- Sunrise Community Health, Evans
- Uncompahgre Medical Center, Norwood
“A critical part of improving our nation’s health is to more effectively reach and care for those who face cultural or systemic barriers that limit their access to care and 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.”
CCHN 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; improve colon cancer screening rates by Adelante Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ; reduce diabetes-related emergencies by ACCESS Family Health, Neosho, MO; and establish a medical home for the homeless by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Santa Rosa, CA.
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The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) is the unified voice for Colorado’s 18 Community Health Centers (CHCs) and their patients. CHCs provide a health care home for more than 650,000 of their community members – more than one in eight people in Colorado – from 62 of the state’s 64 counties. Without CHCs, hundreds of thousands of Colorado’s low-income families and individuals would have no regular source of health care. CCHN’s mission is to increase access to high quality health care for people in need in Colorado. For more information about CCHN, please visit www.cchn.org.
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 www.rchnfoundation.org.