Clinical Quality Initiatives

Colorectal Cancer Screening Supports

According to the American Cancer Society, treatment for colorectal cancer in its earliest stage can lead to a 90 percent survival rate after five years, but more than a third of adults 50-75 do not get the recommended screening.

CRCS Learning Collaborative

The League, with funding from the Massachusetts Department of Health through the Centers for Disease Control, is facilitating a learning collaborative designed to increase colorectal cancer screening. Eight health centers in Massachusetts have participated in this learning collaborative to date, and the League is now recruiting health centers for a new cohort. The Learning Collaborative has focused on implementing evidence-based interventions that are:

  • Sustainable beyond the grant
  • Consistent with population health best practices
  • Involve team-based solutions

The health centers in Cohort 1 of this grant have been able to successfully increase their screening numbers by over 6300 patients over the grant period and screening rates have improved by 8-21%. Interventions health centers have tested and adopted during the collaborative include:

  • FIT test screening
  • Patient and provider reminder systems
  • Provider screening rate assessment and feedback
  • Patient education and navigation
  • Staff and provider education and training
  • Health information technology supports for CRCS

For more information on the League's colorectal cancer screening supports and to find out more about participating in the learning collaborative, please contact Leslie Pelton-Cairns.

Colon Cancer Screening & Education Program (CCSEP)

In collaboration with the Colon Cancer Coalition and with funds raised through the Boston Get Your Rear in Gear 5K, the League created the Colon Cancer Screening & Education Program (CCSEP) to address needs related to colon cancer screening and treatment not covered by insurance representing the first-ever League funding initiative where 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 League 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 eliminate barriers to care for the vulnerable populations they serve. The funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition will aid in these efforts by allowing health center providers to provide targeted financial assistance to patients on a case-by-case basis. Eligible expenses through the CCSEP 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, i.e.: removal of polyps
  • 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)

For more information about CCSEP please contact Cheryl Shaughnessy.

Updated July 2018


Patricia Edraos: Celebrating 36 years of outstanding service to health centers & the League