According to recent health assessment, statistics show the Colon Cancer Incidence Rate for Sumter County to be higher than Georgia or US Counties and in the 2nd worst quartile (data source: National Cancer Institute). In the past, there have been large health fairs where resources could be shared with those who had transportation to and from the venue. The challenge is to get the education and screenings, along with other critical supports, to residents of critical neighborhoods where poor health outcomes and lack of resources intersect.The original plan was to mobilize health fair resources and screenings in vulnerable neighborhoods through Healthy Sumter Block Parties. These events will be set up in areas of need and will include fun, food and music in addition to health screenings, including distribution of colon cancer fecal immunochemical test (FIT), a screening test for colon cancer which tests for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer.
When the pandemic hit, we had to pivot plans to work around COVID. We made arrangements to have the tests distributed through a clinic that served the most vulnerable population in our county. Fortunately, this has worked well and we were also able to purchase 125 tests instead of our original 50.