American Cancer Society presents distinguished award to Legacy, a “pillar of the community”

By Kevin Nix, Senior Director of Communications

This morning, the American Cancer Society presented its National Partnership Award to Legacy Community Health for its work on colorectal cancer prevention.

Legacy and the American Cancer Society came together three years ago to begin a cancer prevention initiative, which helped cover the cost of a simple and inexpensive colorectal test -named FIT, which can be easily done at home – for uninsured Legacy patients. In addition, we dedicated resources to prevention coordinators who personally and continuously communicated with patients.

As a result of the partnership, Legacy’s colorectal screening completion rate jumped significantly from 5.7 percent in 2012, to 69 percent in 2016 in patients ages 50-75 who had a provider-ordered screening test.

“They’ve [Legacy] been a key partner for us,” said Suncerria Tillis, senior director of primary care services for the American Cancer Society. “We’ve learned a lot from Legacy as a result of this initiative that has helped us work with other community centers on how to improve their colorectal screenings. Legacy is a pillar of the community within Houston.”

“A huge debt of gratitude goes to our friends at the American Cancer Society. Without you this work would not have been possible,” said Dr. Ann Barnes, Legacy’s chief medical officer.

So far, Texas has 116,000 new cases of cancer this year, and colorectal cancer is on the rise among young adults.

The award, on behalf of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Community Health Centers, comes during National Health Center Week, which recognizes the nation’s health centers as high-quality, affordable providers.