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Santa Clarita: Unique Partnership with Walgreens Saves Lives among Latinos

Posted: April 2, 2013 3:10 p.m.
Updated: April 2, 2013 3:10 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA, CA – April 2, 2013 –The American Cancer Society has received funding from Walgreens to launch community-based programs in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley that will increase access to cancer information, education and life-saving screenings in areas where high burdens of cancer exist.

The American Cancer Society and Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) partnered to increase screening rates for colon cancer utilizing the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) among uninsured/underinsured, primarily Latino patients. The FOBT is used to find occult blood (blood that can’t be seen by the naked eye) in the feces and determine whether further testing is needed. The test is given in a kit that can be used at home.

An estimated 5,900 Latino men and 4,800 Latino women were diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum in 2012 in the U.S. Colorectal cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer in both Latino men and women. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among Latino men and the third-leading cause of cancer death among Latino women. Latinos have lower colorectal cancer screening rates when compared to other ethnic populations nationwide.*

Through this partnership we have successfully increased colon cancer screenings in both the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley and are ultimately saving lives from cancer in our community,” said Rigo Garcia, NEVHC program manager. “We have and are continuing to provide testing to people who may not have access to screening and are afraid of the outcome. Our trained staff provides culturally sensitive materials and cancer information to help our patients through the FOBT screening process.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that these community-based programs will reach nearly 30,000 individuals with free, life-saving cancer education and screenings in the following communities (including NEVHC).

“The generous contribution from Walgreens allows the American Cancer Society to implement community based programs that make a difference in the lives of individuals throughout across the country,” said Tameka Payne, American Cancer Society director of community health initiatives. “In partnership with community health systems, community health workers and culturally diverse volunteers, we will make progress in the fight against cancer disparities.”

Funding for the community-based programs is part of Walgreens’ Way to Well Commitment, which focuses on improving everyday health through the prevention and early detection of today's leading diseases, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The company and its customers’ donations have contributed to the funding of this program.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.8 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, an estimated 13.7 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information directly from news sources has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.





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