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Making Colorectal Cancer Screening a Priority

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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.

Across the country, community health centers are looking for strategies to help address rising emergency room (ER) volumes. A major step towards decreasing ER capacity happens outside the four walls of a hospital – reducing the number of unnecessary visits by changing health-seeking behavior.


An estimated 60% of all Medicare ER visits are avoidable, and it will be critical to understand the factors that drive these visits, in order to reduce waste and improve quality.


In practice, providers find that it remains an important component of care delivery to explain when an emergency room visit is warranted. Key to this would be to ensure an understanding of the differences between urgent care and emergency care.


Emergency Care
What is it for?

An emergency room visit is based on a medical or psychiatric condition that requires immediate medical attention to prevent a more serious health condition that could place one’s life in jeopardy. If a medical problem is life-threatening, call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital.


Common conditions needing emergency care include: chest pain or pressure that radiates to the neck, arm, back or shoulder; shortness of breath; moderate to severe burns; unconsciousness; convulsions or seizures; severe bleeding; and poisoning.


Urgent Care
What is it for?

An urgent care visit is for an acute illness or injury that requires prompt medical attention but is not an emergency medical condition. Care is provided on a walk-in basis and patients are seen according to the level of urgency as determined by triage or an assessment.


In an urgent care setting, needs addressed include but are not limited to: sprains and cuts; headaches; high fevers; mild breathing issues; sore throats; earaches; colds and flu; and seasonal allergies.


An urgent care need may also include a situation where the experience of an acute illness or injury begins to get progressively worse over a short period of time.


Watts Healthcare Center offers a Same Day Clinic, where you can walk in for same day services with a provider. If you have an urgent care need that requires prompt medical attention, please call us at (323) 564-4331.

LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2020 — The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation (OWCF) announced today a $3 million donation to South LA Forward, a newly created coalition of three Los Angeles based grassroot organizations – SoLa I Can Foundation, SEE-LA, and the Watts Healthcare Corporation. This OWCF donation is in addition to the previously announced $12 million donation to COVID-19 related relief efforts in Oprah’s “home cities” of Chicago, Nashville, Milwaukee, and Kosciusko, Mississippi.


Winfrey reached out to community organizations to best support South Los Angeles during the pandemic and beyond, and helped institute a collaboration created to address the urgent needs of the community including food insecurity, access to healthcare and economic disparity. South LA Forward was established and committed to providing 200 tons of fresh food to feed 80,000 Angelenos, 200 scholarships to those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and expanded COVID-19 testing and primary care for South LA residents. For more information on the resources available and how to apply for a scholarship, please visit www.solaimpact.com/core-fund.


“As I continue to seek out ways to support underserved communities, I was struck by the unique multi-layered approach to effect real change to the systematic barriers of access to healthy food, quality health care and educational opportunities,” said Oprah Winfrey.


“We were incredibly honored to be selected by the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, along with SEE-LA and Watts Healthcare” stated Sherri Francois, the Executive Director of the SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation. “We believe addressing economic inequality and racial injustice requires a multi-pronged approach, and are thrilled that Ms. Winfrey has taken such a holistic approach in addressing these issues.”


“South LA Forward will dramatically expand our COVID-19 emergency food distribution program and help SEE-LA address entrenched obstacles to food access in my community,” said Marie-Alise de Marco of SEE-LA. “As a South LA native, I know first-hand that food insecurity and historic inequities in our food system walk hand in hand. It’s time to forge sustainable local solutions once and for all.”


Dr. Roderick Seamster, President and Chief Executive Officer of Watts Healthcare Corporation, said, “The grant will enable Watts Healthcare to more effectively carry out its mission and greatly expand our ability to provide care to South Los Angeles individuals at risk for COVID-19 due to chronic health conditions.”


About the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation:

Guided by the intention of supporting those in need, the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation (OWCF) supports organizations around the world. Since 1993, OWCF has contributed millions in grants and donations to organizations that serve children, families and communities, with a specific focus on youth education.  For more information, please visit Oprah.com/OWCF


About SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation

The SoLa I CAN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to improve the lives of South LA residents through affordable housing, education, and economic development.  We strive to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing educational scholarships, mentorship, job readiness and access to development experiences.  SoLa Impact’s Beehive campus will house dozens of minority-owned and women-owned entrepreneurs.   See www.solaimpact/core-fund


About SEE-LA

Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) is the largest mission-driven operator of farmers’ markets in Southern California and a leader in nutrition education and improving food access. SEE-LA connects low-income Angelenos to fresh, affordable produce, supports California family farms and local small businesses, and builds sustainable food systems.  See:  www.seela.org


About Watts Healthcare Corporation

Watts Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center in business since 1967. Operating seven clinical sites, one substance abuse treatment center, two mobile programs for dental services and mammograms and a host of preventive health services, its mission is to, “improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves”.   See:  www.wattshealth.org


Media Contact:

Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation:

Chelsea Hettrick

Chelsea_Hettrick@own.tv / 323-602-5632

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Watts Healthcare Corporation (WHCC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) are collaborating to offer coronavirus testing to the general public experiencing symptoms of infection, and those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

As a primary care and public health organization, Watts Healthcare recognizes the importance of early testing in helping to identify new cases, and immediately treating and isolating to mitigate the spread. Testing is also important in the bigger public health picture in order to support prevention efforts, and understand the prevalence, spread and contagiousness of COVID-19 within the community.


Drive-through testing is now open to the general public by appointment only, and is available at:

Watts Health Center

10300 Compton Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90002

Please call 323-568-3000 to schedule an appointment between the hours of 10:00am and 12:00pm & 2:30pm and 4:30pm, daily. Our medical staff will need to perform a health assessment prior to doing the test.

Testing is available:

Monday-Friday, 9a.m. to 12:00pm, or until daily testing supplies run out.

Monday-Friday, 1:30pm to 4:00pm, or until daily testing supplies run out.

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