Free Colonoscopy Program Results
Over three days in March, 22 physicians from Arizona Digestive Health (ADH), the largest group of gastroenterologists in the southwest, participated in the Colorectal Cancer Control Program through the Centers for Disease Control to provide free colonoscopy screenings to unemployed, uninsured or under-insured and low income members of the community. With the help of Mountain Park Health Center, Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA), Banner Health and the Arizona Department of Health Services, ADH physicians successfully performed colonoscopies on 30 participants between March 28 and 30, 2012. These procedures resulted in the removal of 26 polyps and thankfully, no cancer diagnoses. “Colonoscopy has been shown to greatly reduce a person’s risk of developing colon cancer,” said Dr. Paul Berggreen, president of Arizona Digestive Health. “Providing a comprehensive screening to these patients that otherwise might not have been checked for colon cancer is incredibly gratifying.” The costs of the complete experience were covered for the participants. Arizona Digestive Health waived charges for the physician’s services, pathology fees, endoscopy center charges and anesthesia. CCA provided funds to cover the costs of the colonoscopy preparation materials and medications, as well as the cost of gasoline for the patients to get to and from the appointment. ADH would like to thank all the employees and volunteers at Mountain Park Health Center, Colon Cancer Alliance, Arizona Department of Health Services and within our own organization who made this event possible; and a special thank you to Banner Health for logistical assistance. We are honored to have had the opportunity to join with these organizations to make a difference in the community we work and live in and look forward to participating in years to come.