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Keywords:

  • colorectal cancer;
  • screening;
  • health care partnerships;
  • program planning;
  • collaborations;
  • colon cancer screening;
  • lessons learned

BACKGROUND

Maryland, excluding Baltimore City, began public health screening for colorectal cancer in 2000. Initiating colorectal cancer screening in Baltimore City was an objective in the Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) funding announcement for the “Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program” (CRCSDP) was seen as a potential opportunity for Maryland to begin screening in Baltimore City.

METHODS

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the American Cancer Society, and five Baltimore City Hospitals collaborated to develop the funding application and model for the Baltimore City CRCSDP. After receipt of funding, between 2005 and September 2009, screening sites collaborated with the DHMH to implement the multi-site colorectal cancer screening program in Baltimore City.

RESULTS

Close collaboration across organizational boundaries enabled the funding, formation, and implementation of the CRCSDP in Baltimore City. The Baltimore City CRCSDP illustrates the complexity of establishing a functional public health screening program. The program overcame expected and unexpected fiscal, programmatic, and clinical challenges to successfully perform 709 colonoscopies screening cycles among 696 people and detect three cancers during the 38 months of screening.

CONCLUSIONS

Partnerships among the state and local health department, the American Cancer Society, and hospitals in Baltimore City enabled the implementation of this successful program. Lessons learned from the collaborative planning process and the program implementation may facilitate similar collaborations in other geographic areas. Cancer 2013;119(15 suppl):2905–13. © 2013 American Cancer Society.