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Methodist Healthcare Ministries donates $500,000 to American Cancer Society HPV Initiative, “Cancer Prevention: It’s Worth a Shot”

Posted on April 12, 2017

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Campaign to support three Federally Qualified Health Centers in South Texas

San Antonio (April. 12, 2017) – Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. – a private, faith-based not-for-profit dedicated to creating access to health care for low-income families and the uninsured – announced its support of a new American Cancer Society campaign, "Cancer Prevention: It's worth a shot." Methodist Healthcare Ministries will donate $500,000 to the American Cancer Society for a comprehensive, two-year cancer prevention initiative focused on increasing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations among medically underserved children in South Texas served by local and regional Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and to support a community-based HPV vaccination education campaign for parents and families.

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"Methodist Healthcare Ministries is proud to support the American Cancer Society's HPV prevention campaign," stated Kevin C. Moriarty, president & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. "At our clinics, we often see patients that are beyond the prevention stage of treatment. To be a part of such a pivotal campaign, a campaign using proven results, and knowing that through the campaign's partnerships low-income families will have access to the vaccine, is especially meaningful to us at Methodist Healthcare Ministries." As part of this effort, the American Cancer Society will partner with three Federally Qualified Health Centers (Amistad Community Health Center, Atascosa Health Center and CentroMed), all of which Methodist Healthcare Ministries has had a long-standing relationship.

The HPV vaccine has been proven safe and effective in the prevention of infection as well as cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. The HPV vaccination rate goal of Healthy People 2020 (a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative) aims for vaccine coverage for boys and girls ages 13-15 to be 80%, receiving at least three doses of the HPV vaccine. Per the 2015 National Immunization Survey, the vaccine rates in San Antonio for girls ages 13 to 17 was 32.8 percent, and 19.9 percent for boys ages 13 to 17. Although preventive care like vaccinations is covered by Medicaid and many private insurance plans, thousands of children, especially in clinics that serve those in greatest need, go without vaccinations that could protect them.

"We are honored to lead this effort with the valuable support of Methodist Healthcare Ministries," said Suncerria Tillis, senior director of primary care systems at the American Cancer Society. "The American Cancer Society has made HPV vaccinations a top mission priority. Vaccinating children gives health care providers and parents the powerful opportunity to prevent HPV-related cancers in the future. The FQHC's we work with will be instrumental in this effort as well."

Based on an assessment of current practice, the American Cancer Society will work with each FQHC to build a customized program that will include provider education, patient outreach, education, and follow-up, as well as other quality improvement efforts. Each FQHC partner will receive capacity building funding to support their comprehensive program. The project aims to employ approaches to increase provider recommendation and vaccination coverage levels that will be sustained beyond the funding period.

View a previously recorded live-stream of the news announcement on Facebook.com/mhmstx. Follow the conversation using #mhmstx and #2shots2preventCancer.

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About Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. The mission of the organization is "Serving Humanity to Honor God" by improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of those least served in the Rio Texas Conference area of The United Methodist Church. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries' one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit www.mhm.org

About American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 23 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org

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