Wheeling Hospital has received a grant for public outreach programs in colorectal cancer from the American Cancer Society (ACS) Rural Health Community Grant Program. Only three such awards were approved for West Virginia in 2010.
The Urologic Research Institute (URI) of the hospital's Schiffler Cancer Center received $2,500 to target colorectal cancer education and awareness in Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler counties. Through grants such as this, the goal of the ACS by 2015 is to increase the numbers of West Virginians age 50 and over who have had colorectal cancer screenings from 54.8 percent to 75 percent.
The first colorectal cancer awareness educational program will be held at Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2. Drs. Jeffry Pilney and Hector Marcano will explain colorectal cancer screenings and treatment options.A question-and-answer session will follow.
Pilney and Marcano are general and trauma surgeons who also perform colorectal cancer screenings at WCH.
Dr. Gregory Merrick, director of the Schiffler Cancer Center and URI, said, "Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in West Virginia for both men and women. The ACS estimates 1,060 new cases will be diagnosed and 440 West Virginians will lose their lives to colorectal cancer this year."
WCH Chief Executive Officer George Couch said, "We appreciate our relationship with Dr. Merrick and the Schiffler Cancer Center. If we can save just one life by raising awareness of the value of regular colorectal screenings, then we will have made a difference.
"Dr. Merrick's commitment to his patients and our medical staff is invaluable to Wetzel County Hospital's mission of providing high quality services to the citizens of Wetzel, Tyler, and Monroe counties."
According to West Virginia's Healthy People 2010, many types of resources are necessary to reduce the burden of cancer in the state, including providing improved education on prevention, early detection, and treatment to the public, as well as access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment for all residents. Many individuals who live in the rural areas of the state have transportation barriers to screenings and treatment. This grant will not only provide quality education regarding colorectal cancer, but also assist with transportation needs for initial colon cancer screenings.
WCH is a licensed and Joint Commission-accredited 58-bed acute care facility, offering comprehensive inpatient/outpatient services, Level IV trauma care and emergency department.
Schiffler Cancer Center is a national leader in oncology. It is home to the only Comprehensive Cancer Program in its market, as designated by the American College of Surgeons. As a Comprehensive Cancer Program, state-of-the-art technology is used in conjunction with advanced treatment techniques to provide the highest standard of care to cancer patients. The cancer unit provides not only for the physical needs of the cancer patient, but also for the ongoing emotional, social, and spiritual support of the patient and family. Patients from 34 states and 14 foreign countries have been treated at Schiffler.
For additional information, contact Pam Conway, coordinator, Schiffler Cancer Center of Wheeling Hospital, 304-243-3138; or Jenny Abbott, community educator, WCH, 304-455-8073.