VHA honored with '80% by 2018' national achievement award
Dr. Jason A. Dominitz
The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) has announced the winners of its "80% by 2018" National Achievement Award for 2017. The award recognizes organizations and individuals who work to increase national screening rates for colorectal cancer (CRC). The goal is to screen 80 percent of adult patients who are 50 years and older by 2018.
Among this year's honorees is the Veterans Health Administration, for its work in increasing awareness of the importance of CRC screenings, and its research in this area. VHA has maintained CRC screening rates at or above the 80 percent threshold since 2009. VHA is the country's largest integrated health system and serves approximately 9 million Veterans.
VHA has accomplished this impressive goal through a number of initiatives that depend on medical providers, staff, and researchers. One example is the use of decision support tools within VA's electronic health record to help identify Veterans who should be screened for CRC. Another is using performance metrics, so that physicians can improve their CRC screening rates.
VA researchers are conducting a large-scale comparative effectiveness study of fecal immunochemical test (FIT) versus colonoscopy as a screening tool to reduce death from CRC.
The study co-chair is Dr. Jason A. Dominitz, VA national program director for gastroenterology and gastroenterology section chief for the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Dominitz, who is also professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is well-known for his work in CRC screening.
Dr. Jason A. Dominitz, gastroenterology section chief, VA Puget Sound Health Care System. (Photo by Christopher Pacheco)
"This accomplishment recognizes the important role of many VHA staff working together to achieve and sustain high colorectal cancer screening rates," said Dominitz, via email to VHA providers. "I would like to especially acknowledge the PACT [Patient-Aligned Care Team] teams and all of the other front line providers, nurses, medical assistants, and other support staff who are responsible for assuring that our nation's Veterans are screened for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States."
The NCCRT, co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control, is an organization dedicated to increasing CRC screening rates in the United States. The winners of the "80% by 2018" National Achievement Award will be recognized via a live broadcast on March 1, 2017. To learn more visit http://nccrt.org/tools/2017-80-by-2018-national-achievement-awards.