KentuckyOne Health Grants $100,000 to Kentucky Cancer Foundation for Colon Cancer Screenings
Louisville, Ky. (June 24, 2013)—KentuckyOne Health, the largest health system in the Commonwealth, today announced a $100,000 gift to the Kentucky Cancer Foundation to support colon cancer screenings for low income, uninsured Kentuckians between the ages of 50 and 64.
Over the past two years, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and the General Assembly committed $1 million through June 2014 to 10 health departments throughout the state to expand colon cancer screening services for Kentuckians at risk. Governor Beshear challenged the Kentucky Cancer Foundation to raise matching funds for the program.
The Kentucky Cancer Foundation’s matching fund is a very unique private-public partnership to support the state’s cancer action plan. The initiative is designed to help more Kentuckians access crucial screening services.
In addition to the $100,000 commitment from KentuckyOne, University of Louisville Hospital, a KentuckyOne facility, has agreed to partner with the Kentucky Cancer Foundation to provide screening services to individuals who qualify through the program. Screenings are also available at these 10 health departments throughout the state:
· Louisville Metro Health Department
· Barren River District Health Department
· Calloway County Health Department
· Christian County Health Department
· Fayette County Health Department
· Floyd County Health Department
· Greenup County Health Department
· Jessamine County Health Department
· Lake Cumberland District Health Department
· Pike County Health Department
“Simply put, more screenings will prevent cancer and save lives,” said Crit Luallen, member of the board of the Kentucky Cancer Foundation and a colon cancer survivor. “We are grateful for the support and leadership of KentuckyOne Health in this important effort to provide critical screenings for Kentuckians.”
The incidence rate of colon cancer in Kentucky is the second highest in the nation, although few cancers are as preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90 percent when found and treated early. However, data from the Kentucky Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reports that only 63 percent of Kentuckians at risk for colon cancer have been screened for the disease.
“The mission of KentuckyOne is to improve the health of all Kentuckians,” said Ruth W. Brinkley, president and CEO, KentuckyOne Health. “Our support of the state’s colon cancer screening initiative is part of our ongoing work to reduce the incidence of disease in Kentucky, as well as eliminate inequalities in access to care.”
Detection of colon cancer or pre-cancerous polyps is achieved through screening techniques such as a colonoscopy or high-sensitivity fecal immunochemical testing. The American Cancer Society recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50-75. For African-Americans, screening should begin earlier, at age 45.
“The funding provided by KentuckyOne will allow us to reach more individuals at risk for colon cancer with potentially life-saving screenings,” said Whitney Jones, MD, chairman of the Kentucky Cancer Foundation. “We have already begun screenings and identified colon cancer at treatable stages. Of the first three individuals screened, two had early stage colon cancer and were able to begin treatment.”
Individuals who wish to apply for a free screening should contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at 502.852.6318 or toll free at 877.326.1134 to determine if they qualify and identify a location near them for care.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with nearly 15,000 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.
For More Information:
Barbara Mackovic, Senior Manager
502.587.4230 or 502.641.5461