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Published on December 13, 2013

Altru Health Foundation Secures ND Department of Health Grant of $115,500 for Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Grand Forks, ND – Altru Health Foundation announced Altru Health System will receive $115,500 in grant money to provide colorectal cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured patients. The grant is provided through the Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening Initiative Advisory Committee and the North Dakota Department of Health. The award will support a total of 55 colonoscopy screenings.

“Altru is very fortunate to receive this grant to assist us in providing preventive services,” said Jon Green, executive director of Altru Health Foundation. “An individual may not know they have a health issue until an advance stage because so many diseases have ‘silent symptoms.’ At advanced stages, issues are more difficult to treat and cure. With this grant, we will be able to reach out to those individuals who do not have the financial means to have a colonoscopy, yet may have a family history that indicates they should be screened. Altru is committed to providing preventive health services and this generous gift will enable us to potentially save lives.”

Despite recent health care legislation, there remains unexpected cost-sharing for patients interested in a colonoscopy screening. The out-of-pocket expense is a financial barrier that stops many patients from seeking this prevention tool. Altru Health System’s leadership has put forth strategic initiatives to reduce the number of colon cancers diagnosed at stage three or four from 39 percent to 20 percent in Altru’s service area. To accomplish this, Altru will work to increase screening rates in its communities and implement community awareness plans.

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, a large home care network, and a congregate living facility. It employs nearly 200 physicians and 3,800 staff and has annual net operating revenue of more than $400 million.