AltaMed Health Services is proposing to implement its colorectal cancer prevention project, Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-Up Care among Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Populations in Los Angeles County: A Collaboration between AltaMed Health Services and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. A system-enhancing population health project, proposed activities will increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates among Latino patients in the largest FQHC system in California. The project will build upon AltaMed’s CRC screening infrastructure that has been strengthened as a current awardee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health and Health Systems Partnerships to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. CDC-supported efforts have helped to drive an organizational upward trend in CRC screenings from a low of 42% in Los Angeles County among 50-74 year olds at the end of Year 1 of the pandemic. However, AltaMed’s 2021 Los Angeles County rates remain lower (at 54%) than its 2019 screening high of 61%. Implementation of evidence-based interventions in the last year have failed to fully re-establish pre-COVID CRC screening uptake levels. The proposed AxCS-related activities address gaps in existing work, in particular around in-reach and screening navigation, and will help move AltaMed’s CRC screening rate to well above pre-pandemic levels as well as increase referral for CRC care and treatment. AltaMed has partnered with the NCI-designated University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris) to address a critical gap in the capacity of AltaMed staff to provide targeted, ongoing guidance and support to navigate hesitant patients to CRC screening completion. A USC Norris-trained and -supervised Patient Navigator will be responsible for focused in-reach and one-on-one CRC screening navigation, with a particular emphasis on identifying and addressing social determinants of health.
USC Norris has a rich tradition of collaborative research on cancer disparities from biology to society; it was one of the first eight cancer centers in the nation to receive the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1973. USC Norris is a leader in cancer research, education, and patient-centered oncology care that focuses on reducing the burden of cancer for all people. Colorectal cancer and efforts to reduce disparities in CRC outcomes are institutional priorities at USC Norris. AltaMed will work closely with the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) of USC Norris which plays a critical role in developing, implementing, and coordinating targeted programs and activities to address education needs among residents in Los Angeles County. Together with the USC Norris Community Advisory Board and faculty in leadership committees, COE will ensure that priorities identified in the AxCS project are translated into sustainable strategies for early detection, prevention, and treatment for AltaMed’s patient population to reduce the cancer burden in Los Angeles County.