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Partner Spotlight: Abramson Cancer Center

Posted on June 3, 2014

PENN

The Partnership

In 2012 we were proud to name the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania as a partner through our Blue Hope Partnership Program, an initiative providing funding to organizations that are making strides to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. Abramson Cancer Center is made up of a group of doctors and researchers who, through treatment and prevention, are working to eradicate cancer as a cause of human disease and suffering. Funds provided through our Blue Hope Partnership Program were put to use in 2012 when Abramson launched the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigation Program.

The Program

This program, the first of its kind in the Philadelphia area, has provided transportation, scheduling and emotional assistance to approximately 150 colon cancer screening patients. A retrospective study showed that programs of this kind are highly beneficial to the underserved populations in West Philadelphia that otherwise would not have a screening colonoscopy.

“The Abramson Cancer Center is immensely grateful to the Colon Cancer Alliance for their support of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigation Program for the residents of West Philadelphia. The program breaks down barriers to accessing screening colonoscopy for this high risk population, thereby saving lives,” says Dr. Carmen E. Guerra, M.D., M.S.C.E., F.A.C.P., Co-Director of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigation Program and Associate Chief of Staff at the Abramson Cancer Center.

(From left to right) Martha Raymond, Director of Patient Support, Colon Cancer Alliance; Joshua Ramos, Researcher, Wharton School of Business; Alicia Lamanna, Patient Navigator, University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Screening Navigation Program; Eric Hargis, CEO, Colon Cancer Alliance; Michael Kochman, MD, University of Pennsylvania Perlman School of Medicine and Co-Director of University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigation Program gather in front of the poster abstract at Digestive Disease Week Conference.

(L-R) Martha Raymond, Colon Cancer Alliance; Joshua Ramos, Researcher, Wharton School of Business; Alicia Lamanna, Patient Navigator, PENN Health System’s Screening Navigation Program; Eric Hargis, Colon Cancer Alliance; Michael Kochman, MD, PENN Perlman School of Medicine and Co-Director of PENN Health System’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigation Program gather in front of the poster abstract at DDW Conference.

What’s Next

So what’s on the horizon for the program? Dr. Guerra let us know that because the program has proven to be cost effective, the team plans to bring a patient navigator on board in 2015 and will continue research on why some patients who qualify for the program refuse to participate and get screened. “If we can understand the barriers that prevent these people from participating in the program, perhaps we can build an even stronger program that has an even wider reach and saves even more lives,” she explains.

A poster of this research was shared at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference in May and will be presented this month at Academy Health’s Annual Research Meeting in San Diego. Learn more about our Blue Hope Partnership Program and how we’re making an impact in a city near you.

Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have questions or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help!  

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