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LifeLong Medical Care Reduces Barriers to Accessing Breast Cancer Screenings

As a community health center, LifeLong Medical Care is paying close attention to ten core quality measures that have a great on influence patients’ wellness. While the pandemic interrupted progress on some of those assessments, the organization has been particularly effective in screening for breast cancer.

Efforts have included using a Welltext campaign to reach out to our patients that need to get breast cancer screening – Dr. Michael Stacey

LifeLong has surpassed its own goals and has been especially successful completing breast cancer screenings among Spanish-speaking patients. When the data showed that Latinas were lagging way behind White and Black women in getting screened, LifeLong’s team sprang into action and brought the rate up, so it was on par.

Outreach initiatives have included texting in Spanish and follow-up by cancer prevention specialists to help patients overcome barriers to getting mammograms.

“Efforts have included using a Welltext campaign to reach out to our patients that need to get breast cancer screening, asking them what we can do to help them make an appointment,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Stacey told the LifeLong Board of Directors. “We actually asked them first, ‘What are the barriers for you to be able to get breast cancer screening?’ And there was a list that they could choose from: transportation, time off work, childcare, concerns about getting COVID, lack of health insurance.”

Transportation and help with scheduling turned out to be major barriers. So the health specialists made appointments for them and offered them car share rides to get there. And as extra incentive, they were also given gift cards for completing their screenings.

Beyond that, LifeLong has partnered with Sutter Health to bring mammography-equipped vans directly to patients’ neighborhoods.

“It’s the cancer prevention specialists who are texting and communicating with them, so it’s an opportunity for the patients to meet the person they’ve been working with,” Dr. Stacey said.

He added that the team will use similar strategies to encourage patients to get colorectal cancer and cervical cancer screenings.

Learn more about LifeLong Medical Care HERE.