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Colorado Wins Grant to Combat Cervical Cancer

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Monday, July 20, 2015   

DENVER - Reinforcements in the battle against cervical cancer are on their way for women at risk in Colorado. The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) has been awarded $150,000 to launch a pilot project to improve screening rates at clinics.

The federal government recently changed guidelines for when Pap tests are required, and Jessica Sanchez, chief of quality and development with CCHN, says the grant will ensure patients and providers understand the new recommendations.

"What we're trying to do is, to try to get more women to get more cancer screenings, so that their overall health is improved," she says. "They have an increased knowledge of ways to take care of themselves."

Sanchez says Colorado sees some 160 new cervical cancer cases and almost 40 related deaths each year. She notes the pilot was designed to reach populations most at risk for the disease, which include low-income women and women of color.

Sanchez says the grant money will be deployed with the goal of improving screening rates in six of the network's 18 facilities by at least five percent in the first year. She adds if the pilot is successful, it can be replicated across the state.

"And since community health centers see over 650,000 individuals, the impact of that in the state would be tremendous," she says.

Sanchez says getting effective preventive care to at-risk populations is not only a challenge in Colorado, the grant gives the state the chance to become a model for providing proper screenings nationwide.

A total of six grants were given to health projects focused on specific populations in five states by the RCHN Community Health Foundation.


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