Utilizing Evidence-Based Interventions to Increase Preventative Cancer Screening Among the Hutterite Population in SD
Preventative cancer screening rates for the SD Hutterite population insured by DAKOTACARE are disproportionately lower than screening rates of the overall SD population insured by DAKOTACARE. During project implementation, a challenge encountered by the DAKOTACARE team involved additional time and effort required to manage the procedural differences regarding scheduling, billing, and coordination of three different Avera mobile mammography units located in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, and Aberdeen. Additional barriers faced during the project involved getting buy-in from the colonies to allow the mammography bus to come on-site and obtaining permission for the screening reminders to be distributed to members.
To address cancer screening disparities, the DAKOTACARE team implemented client reminders and provided on-site cancer screening services through mobile mammography for breast cancer screening and provision of fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) for colorectal cancer screening to reduce structural barriers for the SD Hutterite population. Challenges were resolved through additional communication and establishment of the appropriate contacts.
The project was a team effort that included multiple staff from the DAKOTACARE team, along with coordinators from Avera’s mobile mammography bus in the Sioux Falls, Mitchell and Aberdeen regions. Meetings and conference calls were held frequently at the beginning of the project to coordinate the on-site mobile mammography services. As the project progressed and schedules were set, fewer team meetings were held and more staff time was devoted to follow up letters and phone calls.
The 12 month project period ran from January 2017 through December 2017. Successes for this project include: a total of 477 reminders distributed for breast cancer screening (reaching 66 colonies), 2,075 reminders distributed for cervical cancer screening (reaching 72 colonies), and 20 reminder letters distributed for colorectal cancer screening (reaching two colonies). Ten colonies were reached through on-site breast cancer screening services via the Avera mobile mammography bus. Additionally, FIT kits were provided on-site at two colonies. During the project period, 133 Hutterites were screened for breast cancer, 310 Hutterites were screened for cervical cancer, and 105 Hutterites were screened for colorectal cancer.
Collaboration and coordination among the DAKOTACARE team was critical to the success of this project. The Hutterite members were extremely grateful for these preventative cancer screening services and have requested that they continue next year. The biggest impact that we discovered during our project came from one-on-one discussions with women who needed further testing. They were very grateful and appreciative of our phone calls and follow-up services.
Long term goals include continuing to partner with Avera mobile mammography with an aim of bringing the mammography bus to our Hutterite members every year and possible expansion of services to other DAKOTACARE members.
If you or your organization is interested in supporting efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in SD, consider joining the SD Cancer Coalition or applying for implementation funding from the SD Department of Health. More information is available at cancersd.com.