Gold Standard Employer: Vidant Health
80% by 2018
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women combined, but it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Across Vidant Health's 29 county service area, screening rates are low. For a cancer that is preventable and treatable if found early through screening, 1 out of every 3 people in North Carolina are not getting the recommended screening.
80% by 2018 is a national initiative with a goal of an 80% colorectal cancer screening rate by 2018. In support of the initiative, Vidant Health has formed a taskforce group committed to working towards the goal in eastern North Carolina. The group consists of gastroenterologists, surgeons, oncologists, nurse navigators, administrators, and primary care providers from each hospital in the Vidant Health system. The group decided that as a health system, we should be leading the way in cancer screening. The group discovered that among our own 12,000+ employees, only about half are up to date with colorectal cancer screening. We are using marketing to get the word out about colorectal cancer screening through emails and digital signage. In May we will have an employee fair aimed at healthy, safe behaviors for the employees. Colorectal cancer information will be available for employees. We are also working on a Saturday screening to allow employees to be screened without having to use vacation time.
Vidant Health is working to break down the barriers to screening, with a goal of an 80% screening rate for our own employees first, then for those in our community. We believe that through working together, we can achieve this goal and work toward becoming a healthier hospital system.
Vidant Health Is excited to report continued progress related to the 80% by 2018 initiative from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. A group from throughout the Vidant Health system meets regularly to discuss the initiative. Representatives are Involved from each of Vidant's eight hospitals across the region.
Realizing the low screening rates for colorectal cancer among our own employees, the group decided to start by targeting our more than 12,000 employees. After a survey was done, the group realized the many misconceptions among employees related to the need for screening. Since each employee already participates in an annual "well-screen" visit through occupational health, education related to colorectal cancer screening was added as part of the visit. A handout, with Information specifically directed toward Vidant employees, is now discussed with each employee age 50 or older. As a system, we have also used several forms of internal communication to provide education to our employees.
While continuing to provide education to our employees, we are now starting to move into our public campaign. Over the next few years, each regional hospital will work through partnerships with faith-based organizations, contracted businesses and local primary physician offices to spread the Importance of colorectal cancer screening. We are very excited to see how participation in this initiative can lead to decreased mortality from colorectal cancer in the future.