MedStar Health Offers Free Screening to Protect Baltimore City Residents against Colorectal Cancer

The colorectal cancer screening program, which originated at MedStar Health in November 2011, offers free colonoscopies for city residents ages 50 and older who are uninsured or underinsured and have limited income.

October 8, 2014

In partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, MedStar Health has been named the exclusive  subcontractor providing free lifesaving colorectal cancer screening for eligible Baltimore City residents. Helping to reduce colorectal health disparities among high-risk populations, this partnership further enhances MedStar Health’s continued commitment to protecting the community from the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maryland.

“Early detection is key to the treatment of all types of cancer,” said Linda Wieczynski, RN, BSN, Program Coordinator at MedStar Health. “Regular screening can prevent many cases of colorectal cancer altogether by finding and removing certain types of polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer.”

The colorectal cancer screening program, which originated at MedStar Health in November 2011, offers free colonoscopies for city residents ages 50 and older who are uninsured or underinsured and have limited income. Screenings are available at MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals. Since its inception, the MedStar program has provided 620 colonoscopies and 331 biopsies. Based on the provided screenings, the program has detected five cancers and provided evaluation to three persons to rule out colorectal cancer.

 “This increased funding affords us the additional resources needed to recruit eligible members of our community, and help them receive vital preventative tools to protect them against colon cancer,” said Wieczynski.

Through its expanded partnership with the City Health Department, MedStar will receive additional funding to increase screening and outreach in the community. The $648,164 contract, effective through April 2015, will help MedStar hire a full time outreach representative to identify eligible residents for screening, increasing the number of provided colonoscopies from 200 to 320 per year.

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible for free screening, call 410-350-8216. Click here to learn more about colon cancer screening at MedStar Health.

 
About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

 

Media Contact:

Megan Lutz
410-554-2781
[email protected]

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