By Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, CCSP Director

On March 27, The Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) received a special recognition from the Colorado General Assembly at the State Capital in Denver, CO, honoring the impact of patient navigation and the CCSP Program over the last decade.  Representative Perry Will presented CCSP the acknowledgement and Speaker of the House, K.C. Becker and several others shared perspective about the value of prevention and reducing barriers to care.

The Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) for Patient Navigation is a statewide program that partners with safety net hospitals and clinics to offer no-cost patient navigation services for cancer screening to the medically underserved of Colorado. The program is coordinated through the University of Colorado Cancer Center, with funding support from the Cancer Cardiovascular and Chronic Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) Grants Program.

Colorectal cancer screening is the cornerstone of the CCSP program as the second leading cause of cancer death;  killing equal numbers of men and women in Colorado. CCSP has dedicated the past decade to prevention and has navigated over 30,000 Coloradans from nearly every Colorado county. CCSP’s health care network has have detected cancer in more than 300 patients. Those patients may have gone on to have more advanced disease, poorer prognosis and/or diminished quality of life.  CCSP estimates it has prevented 500 cancers (detection of advanced adenomas) and saved the health care system conservatively $12 million, based on the amount to treat these colon and rectal cancers (first course of therapy) minus the costs to administer the Program.

CCSP is particularly interested in  ensuring resources are dedicated to rural and frontier communities and now a watchful eye to the growing number of young people who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Members of the Colorado Cancer Coalition, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Fight Colorectal Cancer, Colorado Community Health Network and CCSP staff all attended in support of the Program.

Program Director, Andrea (Andi) Dwyer hopes this a step in ensuring patient navigation and further cancer prevention efforts are sustained in Colorado and nationally; which is a goal over the next several years for CCSP and many partners.

Below, from left: Colorado Community Health Network’s Yvette Camarena, CCSP Program Coordinator Elsa Weltzien, Fight CRC’s Reese Garcia, CCSP Director: Andrea (Andi) Dwyer , CCSP Manager Lori Workman, CCSP Coordinator Amie Muraski, CDPHE Comprehensive Cancer Program’s Magen Phillips, Colorado Cancer Coalition and Colorectal Task Force’s Karen Wehling, CDPHE Comprehensive Cancer Program’s Becky Selig.