Salutes of “Wakanda Forever” became a part of pop culture in 2018 as fans celebrated the cast and crew of the popular movie Black Panther. So, the passing of the 43-year-old star actor Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer sent shock waves throughout the nation and reopened conversations about colorectal cancer. Issues pertaining to the racial and ethnic statistical variances, the conflicting guidelines; the disparities in access to preventive care and the social and economic contributors to lifestyle choices that impact colorectal cancer rates.
Watts Healthcare Corporation (WHCC) has positioned itself to help change the trajectory of this illness among the patients we serve. In March of 2020, WHCC partnered with Southside Coalition and the American Cancer Society to improve the screening rates of colorectal cancer among our patients. COVID 19 dampened some of these efforts, however we quickly pivoted to accommodate pandemic restrictions and continued to provide this much needed service to our patients. The outreach and engagement efforts of the Southside Coalition team and our very own patient navigator has resulted in connected outreach to 956 patients eligible for colorectal cancer screening. Of this number, 338 fecal globin kits have already been mailed out to patients’ homes with an approximate 18% return rate so far for the first quarter of 2021.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states “Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer and finding it early.” WHCC in collaboration with our partner, the Southside coalition plans to use this key to make a difference in the health and well-being of our patients.