Dr. Minesh Mehta kicked off the Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project on April 19, 2018 at East Georgia Healthcare Center (EGHC) in Swainsboro, Georgia.
Over 30 EGHC staff members including providers from the Swainsboro, Mount Vernon, Vidalia, and Soperton clinics were educated on FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.
The American Cancer Society, represented by Health Systems Manager Phanesha Jones, was present at EGHC to provide supportive Quality Improvement work and partner with the Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project.
After the educational session, Dr. Mehta debriefed with Phanesha Jones, EGHC head clinical nurse, the CEO, quality compliance manager, and medical director of EGHC on each step in their colorectal cancer screening process and identified ways to strengthen their policy using evidence based guidelines. Dr. Mehta also developed an educational project and protocol for the clinics dietary students, nursing students, and volunteers whereby patients with outstanding FITs will be identified and called on Day 2 and Day 7 after receiving the FIT.
During the call back, the patients will be reminded to return their FIT, questions will be answered in regards to instructions for completion of the test, education about colon cancer prevention will be provided, and finally the patients will be asked what barriers or reasons they faced in the process. A patient and provider monetary reward system was created to increase compliance with FIT.
In addition to giving the lecture at EGHC’s Swainsboro location, Dr. Mehta also traveled to their affiliated Soperton and Mount Vernon clinics, provided in person education about colon cancer screening and prevention.
During his visit to Soperton, he learned of a young man diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer, and Dr. Mehta is in the process of getting him genetic testing so that we can prevent colon cancer in his two young children.
Colorectal cancer educational pamphlets, posters, and FIT reminder postcards were distributed to the Swainsboro, Soperton, and Mount Vernon clinics directly. These resources will also be provided to EGHC’s other affiliated clinics.
A monetary grant and 60 Hemosure FITs were donated to the clinic as well. We identified the current baseline colorectal cancer-screening rate for East Georgia Healthcare Center as of April 2018 and will track this over the ensuing year.
With the support of the American Cancer Society, UHRU will provide phone and email support throughout the year to improve their screening rates.
We look forward to working together to achieve our shared goal of screening patients for colon cancer and saving lives!