PROVO, UTAH. March 23, 2017 – During the last week of March, Chad Kawa, MD of Revere Health is coordinating an event to provide free screening colonoscopies to eligible individuals in the local community.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Utah and the U.S., but regular screenings can detect colon cancer while it is small, confined and easier to treat. If you are 50 or older, colonoscopies are one of the most important steps you can take toward prevention.
“Those over 50 should make colonoscopy screenings a priority,” says Kawa. “Ninety percent of colon cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and only half of those people are getting screened.”
The nationwide goal, set by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, is to increase this rate to 80 percent by 2018.
Those who are screened appropriately have a significantly higher chance of avoiding cancer by detecting and removing precancerous growths or having their cancer detected at an early stage, increasing the chance of survival. Colonoscopy can reduce colorectal cancer by 40 percent.
Kawa’s inspiration to start this project in Utah Valley stems from his training in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was taught by physician mentors.
“I am grateful for not only the skills I learned during training, but also a greater sense of compassion,” says Kawa. “I was taught by physicians who dedicated an entire day every year, donating their time and expertise to offer free screenings to those in the community without health insurance.”
Kawa’s love for the community is another driving force behind this project. He sees this as a small way to contribute to the health of the community by donating services to those who are unable to get the care they need, and by raising awareness for those who do have coverage and have delayed screening or are afraid to schedule.
He hopes to see this project grow every year.
Revere Health Gastroenterologists will provide colonoscopy screenings, with facilities and support donated by Intermountain Healthcare. Kawa is also partnering with Community Health Connect and Mountainlands Community Health Center to find low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients who need colonoscopy screenings.
Eligible patients will be scheduled at Utah Valley Hospital and American Fork Hospital for screenings. Braintree Laboratories is sponsoring this project by providing free SUPREP® Bowel Prep Kits to patients, and the pathologists at Utah Valley Hospital are donating their services to examine polyps. If follow-up care is required, Revere Health will partner with the patients to ensure they get the care they need.
About Revere Health
Revere Health is the largest independent multispecialty physician group in Utah, and employs over 160 physicians and 130 advanced practitioners. Founded in 1960, Revere Health has grown to include more than 100 clinics in both urban and rural areas throughout Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Revere Health providers offer complete healthcare at any stage of life with family practices and 29 medical specialties. As one of two Accountable Care Organizations accredited by Medicare in Utah, Revere Health offers a unique, patient-oriented approach to healthcare.