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Partners with Medical Associates Plus in Augusta to “Kick Colon Cancer's Butt"

The Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project is partnering with Medical Associates Plus in Augusta to end preventable death from colon cancer. The project was co-founded by Dr. Minesh Mehta, M.D. and Dr. Koosh Desai, M.D., with the mission of eliminating barriers to colon cancer screening across the state.

The project is a health initiative of Unified Healthcare for the Rural Underserved (UHRU) whose mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of rural and underserved people worldwide. The American Cancer Society is also supporting the project by providing technical support and screening implementation assistance.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the state of Georgia, with 4,000 new cases and 1,400 deaths every year. However, most of these deaths are preventable through appropriate screening.

The state-wide screening rate is 65%, but only 32% of Georgians served at federally qualified

health centers are being screened thus many of our friends and neighbors are dying from colon cancer. Through screening, precancerous lesions are removed, before they develop into cancer.

Medical Associates Plus, led by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Yvonne Johnson, M.D., provides

valuable healthcare services to Georgians. They have 6 clinics and serve thousands of patients yearly. Dr. Johnson wants to make sure every one of her eligible patients is screened. The Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project is helping create and fund screening policies to make it a reality.

The Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project’s multifaceted approach to increase screening

begins with developing a strong long-term partnership with federally qualified health centers.

Each center faces a different set of obstacles in completing colon cancer screening and our team of experts identify each center’s local barriers and develop an evidence-based, tailored colon cancer screening action plan to overcome these challenges.

On Tuesday, October 8 th , Dr. Desai and Teresa McLean, Ph.D., Executive Director, of the

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project, met with over 30 providers at Medical Associates Plus to spread awareness and promote colon cancer screening.

Dr. Desai says “increasing colon cancer screening rates is extremely important since even a modest 10% improvement will lead to thousands of people being screened and will prevent hundreds of people from getting colon cancer.”

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