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Published on December 12, 2013

Harvest Gala 2014 to Support Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Altru Health System, Grand Forks, ND – Altru Health Foundation announced this week that Harvest Gala 2014 will benefit colorectal cancer screening and prevention. Along with the main event sponsor Alerus Financial, Altru Health Foundation will host the tenth annual Harvest Gala on September 27, 2014 at the Alerus Center.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the second highest form of cancer deaths in the United States. According to the North Dakota Department of Health, 31 percent of people in Grand ForksCounty and 40 percent of people in the surrounding region who are at risk for CRC have never had a colonoscopy.

“Improving our community awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer prevention is a huge goal of ours,” says Loree Alberts, manager of Altru’s Same Day Surgery. “The funds from Harvest Gala will be used to support patients who cannot afford the expense of having a colonoscopy.”

Despite recent health care legislation, there remains unexpected cost sharing for patients interested in a colonoscopy screening. The out-of-pocket expense may be a financial barrier that prevents many patients from seeking this prevention tool. Altru Health System’s executive leadership team 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 seek to increase the screening rates in our communities and implement community awareness plans.

For information on sponsorships of Harvest Gala 2014, please contact Randy Schoenborn at or 701.780.5618.

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.