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Boston Road Race Funds First Colon Cancer Educational Program for Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

5-11-12 Feature Story:

Colon Cancer Coalition Presents $93,500 Check to League Raised From the Inaugural Get Your Rear in Gear 5K

Boston, MA (May 11, 2012) - The Colon Cancer Coalition today presented the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers a check for $93,500 to create the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Colon Cancer Screening & Education Program (CCSEP). This program is the first of its kind for the League, addressing needs related to colon cancer screenings and treatment not covered by insurance for those affected by this disease in Massachusetts.

Representatives from both organizations were on-site at The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis today, to officially announce this new partnership. "We are very grateful to the local Get Your Rear in Gear affiliate for their generous donation," said James W. Hunt, Jr, President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "This funding will not only help increase awareness among our patients about the importance of colon cancer screening and treatment, it will go far in breaking down some of the financial barriers that prevent patients from accessing the kinds of preventive services which are critical to their long-term health."

The Colon Cancer Screening & Education Program (CCSEP) represents the first-ever League funding initiative whereby health center patients receive direct help with covering expenses related to colon cancer screening and treatment which are not reimbursable through health insurance.

Community health center patients face a distinct set of challenges in accessing health care; ninety percent of our patients have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, leaving them with limited resources to pay for insurance deductibles and co-pays, as well as child care, transportation and other costs associated with screening and treatment. The primary mission of the League and health centers is to work to eliminate barriers to care for the vulnerable populations we serve; this funding will aid us in these efforts by allowing health center physicians to provide targeted financial assistance to patients on a case-by-case basis. Eligible expenses include:

  • Pre- and post- colonoscopy prep products and medications,
  • Transportation to and from procedures,
  • Translations services needed during procedures,
  • Co-pays and deductibles,
  • Cost of diagnostics resulting from screening, ie: removal of polyps, and
  • Cost of ancillary services needed to support patient through colon cancer treatment, i.e.:
    • Day care expenses,
    • Meal expenses,
    • Home care expenses, and
    • Medication expenses.

All funds for this program were raised from the 2011 Boston Get Your Rear in Gear 5K. This was the inaugural race for the Colon Cancer Coalition in Massachusetts and one of the largest first year races on the east coast. The 2012 race is on October 13, 2012 at Castle Island in South Boston.

"We are proud to work with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to create this program," said Brian Shelly, Boston Get Your Rear in Gear Race Co-Chair. "We are excited to know that those confronted with a colon cancer diagnosis now have monetary recourses available to help with treatment and other related expenses. Education and prevention are key with this disease, we are glad that the funds raised at the race can make such a positive impact on Massachusetts."

About the Colon Cancer Coalition / Get Your Rear in Gear:

Get Your Rear in Gear events are presented nationally by the Colon Cancer Coalition, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis. The events are 100% volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. To date the Colon Cancer Coalition has distributed nearly $1.25 million from the Get Your Rear in Gear events back into local communities for colon cancer education, prevention, and screening. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. A history of the organization, upcoming events, and a list of programs receiving funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition can be found at GetYourRearinGear.com.

About the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers:

The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers ("the League") is a non-profit, statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state's 50 community health center organizations, which provide primary and preventive care to some 800,000 residents. Funding for League initiatives comes from a variety of sources, including local, state and federal grants, as well as private foundations, corporations and other non-profit organizations. The League uses this funding to provide a broad range of technical assistance to our community health center members, including recruitment of clinicians, information technology development, clinical and administrative staff training, and management of quality care initiatives across all health centers.

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