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St. Mary’s Healthcare takes action on community cancer prevention

Community-based cancer prevention efforts have gained even more importance in the wake of COVID-19 and the temporary suspension of non-urgent medical procedures throughout 2020 and 2021. St. Mary’s Healthcare’s Cancer Prevention in Action program, started in 2018, provides prevention education, resources and practices throughout Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties.

CPiA aligns with New York state Prevention Agenda goals by promoting the use of evidence-based care to manage chronic diseases. The program is a five-year, New York state grant-funded initiative through DOH’s Bureau of Cancer Prevention and Control that uses a policy, systems and environmental change approach to prevent and reduce the risk of cancer in New York communities. This program has been sustained through its strong community partnerships along with its online web presence to inform partners and the community on the services available to take action against cancer.

Specifically, CPiA assists community partners in the adoption of their own policies to promote sun safety and prevent skin cancer within their organizations and within the community. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mary’s Healthcare found creative ways to continue CPiA efforts, including shifting to online education, virtual meetings and socially distant interactions.

Through community partnerships and adoption of sun safety policies, the CPiA team has been able to reach 121,116 local residents within Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties since 2018. CPiA has successfully submitted and participated in a total of 140 media placements, 77 decision-maker meetings, 86 education events, 22 cancer prevention policies passed and 25 installations of sun-safety materials.

For more information, contact Ginger Champain, program coordinator at ginger.champain@nysmha.org or 518.770.6815.