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The American Cancer Society and the National Football League Choose Denver Health to Support Needed Cancer Screenings

February 1, 2021

Thanks to a $50,000 grant provided by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Football League (NFL), Denver Health is launching a community-wide effort to increase cancer screenings – a service that has seen a significant drop in utilization since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many community members have elected to defer health appointments until the pandemic resolves. Others have experienced job loss or other financial difficulties and have chosen to delay care. Disrupted public transportation means that many haven’t been able to reach a clinic easily, even if they’ve wanted to.

Throughout 2021, Denver Health will work to re-engage lapsed patients and to increase access for even more community members, especially those in hard-to-reach areas. To do this, Denver Health will enhance patient navigation, reduce barriers to out-of-pocket expenses and transportation, and use our Women’s Mobile Clinic to bring cancer screenings directly to Denver’s low-resource communities.

Mobile clinics increase access to care by bringing screenings to patients’ front doors. Mobile units also have been shown to be effective at reducing patients’ fears about screenings, leading to more uptake of appointments. And patients perceive the way care is delivered at mobile clinics – with only one patient allowed in the mobile unit at a time – as less risky for virus exposure than brick-and-mortar settings.

For patients who can’t visit the Women’s Mobile Clinic while it’s in their neighborhood, Denver Health is committing resources to ride-share options, like Lyft, to cover patients who need transportation to their cancer screenings.

Through these initiatives, Denver Health seeks to raise screening rates for breast cancer from 55% to a target of 62% by the end of the year among patients aged 50–74 years. Additionally, Denver Health will work to raise the screening rate for cervical cancer among patients aged 25-64 years from 67% to a target of 75%.

The goal is to ensure Denver Health is doing our part to keep our entire community healthy with enhanced access to preventative services – despite the challenges encountered throughout the pandemic. Our deepest thanks goes to the ACS and NFL for supporting this necessary, life-saving work.

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