A message from our CEO, Dave Bell:
I don’t often think about what will be written on my gravestone, but I think if pushed to make a decision, it would simply say, “What’s Next?” I love ideas, I like movement and growth, I like accomplishing things, I like celebrating victories (code for “I like a good party!”) and I like asking the question, “What’s Next?”
As we come to the end of 2016 and we begin thinking about 2017 and beyond at the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, I am asking myself and our staff and volunteers, “What’s next?”
In our short history, we have made amazing progress in our ability to mobilize volunteers to make change happen in the colon cancer screening rates in Kentucky. When we saw that there were barriers to colon cancer screenings because people may not be covered by insurance, we successfully worked to have legislation passed to ensure that colonoscopies are covered by insurance. In addition, we worked to provide a program funded by a innovative public private partnership that would cover those who were either uninsured or underinsured to provide covered colon cancer screening options.
When a national challenge was set to increase colon cancer screening rates for all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s), the Project took on this challenge and in 2017, we will make Kentucky the first state in the country to have all FQHC’s not only educated, but showing increases in screening rates.
So – what’s next?
We will begin expanding outside of Kentucky in a strategic manner to replicate the work we have done here to surrounding states. Our Kicking Butt 5K’s, Bottom’s Up Bash and Bourbon for Bottoms events are reproducible and important in our to raise funds which further our mission and in spreading awareness of the work we do.
We will increase our presence in state and federal level advocacy campaigns. We will continue our role in leading the way with a proven track record of success and look to partner with like-minded organizations to get needed policy passed to remove barriers and increase screening rates for colorectal cancer.
We will target surrounding states with education programs for FQHC’s to increase their screening rates like we have successfully done in Kentucky.
We will be more intentional about recruiting a more diverse board of directors that represents the work we do, the communities we serve and is focused on fulfilling the mission of eliminating preventable death and suffering from colon cancer.
By focusing on collaborative relationships with other organizations and individuals, we will be able to focus our efforts on what we do best, colon cancer prevention, and join with others to help serve fighters, survivors and caregivers.
We will also be starting a “Policy for On-Time Information” that will change the conversation at the national level from “get your colonoscopy at age 50” to “have a conversation with your provider by age 40 about your risk factors, family health history, prevention methods and screening options”.
This is such an exciting time in our history! We hope you’ll join us!
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