North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Team


Pictured above: Shannon Bacon (American Cancer Society), Jesse Tran and Joyce Sayler (North Dakota Dept. of Health), Judy Beck (Great Plains QIN), and Amanda Houston (lND CRC survivor).

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are combined. Many CRC cases and deaths could be prevented if more individuals were offered and took advantage of CRC screening.

The 80% by 2018 campaign proposed the bold public health goal of increasing CRC screening rates 15% in five years by engaging organizations across communities in the United States. Over 1700 organizations signed a pledge to commit time, resources and energy to reach that goal. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Program (CDC) indicates that CRC screenings are trending up and an estimated 5.1 million additional people have been screened since 2012. While no state has yet surpassed an 80% screening rate, individual systems and practices are achieving 80% screening rates or higher across the nation.

At the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) annual meeting held recently in Baltimore, several North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable members were invited to share successes. North Dakota was featured heavily throughout the meeting as one of the most improved states in the nation. Presentations given by North Dakota CRC Roundtable members included:

  • Panel: “What Does Success Look Like?” (Joyce Sayler, North Dakota Department of Health)
  • Workshop: “Effective State Roundtables in Action” (Shannon Bacon, American Cancer Society and Joyce Sayler, North Dakota Department of Health)
  • Workshop: “Multi-component Interventions: Award Winning Programs”(Judy Beck, Great Plains QIN serving North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota)
  • Featured Speaker: “The Power of Roundtables: One Survivor’s Perspective” (Amanda Houston, CRC survivor, Fargo, ND) Click here to watch the video of Amanda’s presentation.

Judy Beck presenting at NCCRTJudy Beck, Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Manager, stated, “I was humbled and honored to be invited to present at the NCCRT annual meeting to highlight the achievements of Great Plains QIN providers and to share the role we were able to play in those achievements through the Special Innovation Project awarded to the Great Plains QIN. When North Dakota was referenced several times throughout the event, I was proud to be associated with a state that truly exemplifies commitment to attaining better health for our state’s residents through improved screening for early detection.”

The NCCRT will continue the momentum achieved with 80% by 2018 by continuing to work with members to identify needs and opportunities, address gaps and act as a catalyst to stimulate work on key issues around CRC. With a new mantra of 80% in Every Community, the NCCRT has recognized these emerging themes:

  • Emphasize support to communities with lower CRC screening rates (e.g., rural, racial and ethnic, and low socioeconomic communities)
  • Continue addressing barriers to care (specifically targeting cultural, linguistic, geographical, and/or public health concerns which may be impacting access to screening and care)
  • Secure additional funding to expand the campaign’s reach through national media efforts, tailored messaging, concerted evaluation, trainings and learning collaborations, expanded staff and other critical capacity building resources
  • Increase engagement of advocates and survivors to personalize and inform this work
  • Enhance efforts to engage non-traditional partners that can help reach the goal such as employers, insurers, policy-makers and the media
  • Remain focused on 80% and above

The Great Plains QIN completed an 18-month Special Innovation Project that allowed us to partner with physician clinics to help implement processes that ensure CRC screening recommendations and follow-ups for all patients. While we are no longer actively engaged in this work, tools, resources and educational events are available on our website to continue improving CRC screening rates in our region. Click here to access more information.