New Jersey Health Care Providers, Community Members, and Researchers Come together to Address Disparities and Improve Screening Opportunities for Colorectal and Lung Cancers
Challenges, data, education and research discussed at all-day conference
Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J., May 24, 2018 – Health care providers, community members, and researchers from across the state came together this week at the ‘Conference for Change’ event, hosted by the New Jersey Primary Care Association and sponsored by ScreenNJ to address screening among two of the most common cancers – colorectal and lung. At the Conference for Change, participants discussed comprehensive strategies to increase screening rates as well as promising practices. Data gathered at the conference will be developed into recommendations for the ScreenNJ program led by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and funded in part by the New Jersey Department of Health.The New Jersey Primary Care Association moderated a panel during the conference on how Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are transforming colorectal and lung screening rates in the communities they serve. In addition, several partnering organizations from across the state contributed their expertise to the event.
“New Jersey is ranked fifth in the U.S. for cancer incidence and lung and colorectal cancers are among the most common and deadly in our state. With that, it is important for us to get the word out that effective screening programs are available,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS. “Patients with these types of cancers have better outcomes if detected early through proven screening methods. Unfortunately, many of these cancers are found at a later stage and screening rates are low, especially in several New Jersey counties, which is why we helped initiate ScreenNJ with the state Department of Health. I’m pleased to say that our inaugural year has been spent developing important partnerships, as well as identifying strategic research needs to help reduce cancer disparities and save lives,” added Dr. Libutti who is also the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health.
Education and training on tobacco mitigation, and screening for lung and colorectal cancers geared toward clinicians across the state also has been a focus of ScreenNJ – along with the development of clinical decision support tools and practice strategies. In addition, many of our community based primary care provider partners have been supported by ScreenNJ to enhance their cancer screening and patient navigation programs specifically designed to reach diverse and underserved populations. FQHCs conduct colorectal cancer screening, smoking cessation programs, and assist patients with lung cancer screening referrals.
Through its partner organizations across the state, ScreenNJ is committed to reducing cancer incidence and mortality through an effective cancer prevention and screening program. To learn more about ScreenNJ visit www.screennj.org.
“In New Jersey, Federally Qualified Health Centers are leading the effort to screen for colorectal cancer among our patients. What we are doing is making an impact because colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among men and women combined. In New Jersey, screening is above the national average compared to FQHCs across the country. We even have two Health Centers, Zufall Health Center and North Hudson Community Action Corporation, who have paved the way with high screening rates and shared best practices at the Conference,” said NJPCA President and CEO Jillian Hudspeth.
Primary care physicians, including those who work in FQHCs, play an important role in cancer detection. While often the first to detect health abnormalities that may later be confirmed as cancer, they play an equally important role in the prevention of cancer. FQHCs provide prevention services as well as management of acute and chronic medical conditions.
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not available at other facilities across the state. Patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies throughout the state at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as at RWJBarnabas Health.
Along with world-class treatment, which is often fueled by on-site research conducted in Rutgers Cancer Institute laboratories, patients and their families also can seek cancer preventative services and education resources throughout the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health footprint statewide. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit www.cinj.org/giving. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCINJ.
About the New Jersey Primary Care Association
The New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA) is an advocate for community health centers as well as a provider of comprehensive education, training, and technical assistance to health centers in New Jersey. NJPCA currently has 24 health centers, one of which is a look-alike and 134 satellite sites providing healthcare services to over 500,000 people in New Jersey. For more information about NJPCA, please visit njpca.org.
Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are in every state across the nation. FQHCs are authorized under Section 330(A) of the Public Health Services Act to provide healthcare to the medically underserved. Many health centers and their sites are specially designated to serve the needs of special populations including homeless populations, public housing residents, migrant and seasonal farm workers, veterans and school-aged children. For more information about the HRSA Health Center Program, please visit bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html.
Communications Coordinator New Jersey Primary Care Association
609-689-9930 ex. 19