Whittier Street Health Center Stresses Importance Of Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness

In an effort to help stem the rise of colorectal cancer in underserved communities of color, Whittier Street Health Center, a community health center with a mission to serve as a center of excellence that provides high quality and accessible health care and social services that achieve health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of a diverse patient population, is stressing the importance of screenings and early detection of the disease.

According to the 2020 Data Report on Colorectal Cancer in Massachusetts, colorectal cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and third cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the state, with the highest incidence between 2012-2016 among Black non-Hispanics.

Whittier hosts specialized colorectal cancer workshops for staff on clinical guidelines and protocols on screening options, an initiative that underscores the value of early screening and proven strategies to reduce and prevent colon cancer.  In addition, Whittier conducts community-based outreach to deliver promotion of and education about the importance of screening and preventative measures as well as lifestyle changes to avert the disease.  Smoking cessation, a healthy balanced diet, limiting alcohol intake, routine exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are all proven measures to help guard against colorectal cancer.

“We are dedicated to closing the disparate gap of high mortality rates resulting from colorectal cancer in minority, low-income, and immigrant communities,” said Frederica M. Williams, president and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “Our capacity to do so hinges not only on delivering necessary innovative programs, but bringing them directly to the populations we serve.”

About Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center is an independently licensed community health care center with a mission of providing high quality, reliable and accessible primary healthcare for diverse populations while promoting wellness and eliminating health and social disparities. A champion of equitable access to high quality, patient-focused care, social justice and economic equity, Whittier Street Health Center is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC), certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, and recognized by the NCQA for its Behavioral Health Integration. Through its locations in Roxbury and North Dorchester, and its Mobile Health Van program, Whittier Street Health Center serves more than 30,000 patients and 20,000 community outreach visits annually; its ethnically and racially diverse patient base is primarily made up of individuals from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and greater Boston. Approximately 28% of Whittier’s patients are uninsured. Whittier Street Health Center provides a comprehensive array of 40 healthcare programs and services designed to meet the primary health care, behavioral health, and social needs of the community. For more information, please visit ww, w.wshc.org as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/WhittierStreetHealthCenter), Twitter (@Whittier_Boston), or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/whittier-street-health-center), or call 617-989-3221.