Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center
2016 proved to be a very busy year for the Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center. In partnership with the Franciscan Health Group, we are dedicated to bringing the best cancer and hematologic care to our community. The Outreach Plan for the Cancer Center is to provide local residents with education and the tools needed to prevent and find cancer in the earliest stages, when it can be more easily treated. We used a variety of methods and resources to accomplish this, such as hospital employee emails, informational tables set up in the hospital main lobby and local events, attendance at various events in the community, educational in-services for employees and physicians, surveys and our free sunscreen and cancer screening programs.
March was Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon Cancer is the 3rd most prevalent cancer diagnosed at Putnam County Hospital (PCH). We used this recognized month to bring awareness to this cancer with weekly educational emails sent to 366 employees and an informational table set up in the main lobby for visitors and employees. A survey revealed that before the education, 53% of the participants would have gotten colonoscopies, and after receiving education, 93% plan to get them done. On March 17, an educational in-service attended by 26 attendees was held by the Cancer Center with Dr. L.G. Palanca, surgeon, speaking on Colon Cancer and Colonoscopies. There were 401 Colonoscopies done in 2016 by Dr. L.G. Palanca, Dr. Frank Lloyd, Dr. Keith Landry, Dr. Thomas Black, and Dr. Paul Szotek in our Surgery Center. Eleven colon and rectal cancer cases were diagnosed in 2016.
Skin Cancer Awareness was promoted in May through July with emails sent to 368 PCH employees, as well as an educational table in the lobby and at various community events. Two hundred and fifty tubes of sunscreen and educational literature were passed out at PCH, the Putnam County Fair, Heritage Lake Safety Day, and a children’s event sponsored by the Putnam County Library. A survey conducted revealed that before receiving education, 79% would use sunscreen, compared to 94% who would use it after receiving the education and sunscreen. Those participating in the survey were from Reelsville, Fillmore, Coatesville, Greencastle, Roachdale, Brazil, Cloverdale, Poland, South Bend, and Bainbridge with one participant from Republic, Missouri. Dr. John Stephens of Dermatology, Inc. provided exams for our free Skin Cancer Screening in August with 39 participants. 62% of the participants were given recommendations to follow up with a dermatologist for further evaluation.
In April and October, we had Look Good Feel Better programs sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This program provides instruction on hair styling and make-up application along with free make-up kits for those who are undergoing active cancer treatment. These programs are geared to give the participants a boost of self-confidence when they may be experiencing some of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
August was designated Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Awareness month. According to the 2016 Putnam County Community Health Needs Assessment, 20% of Putnam County residents are smokers, with lung cancer listed as the second most prevalent cancer in our county. A display table was set up in the hospital main lobby with Lung Cancer Awareness, Smoking Cessation, and the Franciscan Health ASPIRE Tobacco Free program information. Educational emails were also sent to over 350 employees throughout the month. Local residents were able to participate in the ASPIRE program free of charge, thanks to a grant provided by the Putnam County Health Department. The program typically costs the participant $50. Included in this program is weekly support group meetings via video per the telehealth program. Thirty-one percent of those who have enrolled in the program have quit smoking. In November, Dr. Sameer Ahmed was our speaker for an educational event concerning the diagnosing and treatment of Lung Cancer with an audience of 19 local physicians and health care staff.
In 2016, Putnam County Hospital completed 263 low dose Lung Screening CT Scans (LDCT). There were 166 that required follow-up of annual LDCT, 42 needed LDCT in 3-6 months, and 11 required immediate testing with 1 positive finding of lung cancer. All who received the scans were offered smoking cessation education and the ASPIRE program information.
Putnam County Hospital is committed to improving the lives of our local citizens and has made a commitment to providing a wellness program for our employees and the citizens of our community. We want to decrease the incidence of cancer and other health issues so that community members can lead longer, healthier lives. We are proud to invest in and lead the wellness efforts in our community so our friends and neighbors can live longer, healthier lives. Wellness screenings are being offered to the community as well as local industries and businesses. The screening not only provides services to individuals that will help them ‘Know their Numbers’, but also educates the industry/business on ways to build their own wellness program based on the aggregated numbers. On September 30, we launched our Knowledge is Power Women’s Wellness Screening at the local Chamber Women in Business meeting which was attended by 22 female business leaders in the community. The $99 program includes a glucose test, cholesterol test, cardiac score, bone density, Body Mass Index score, and opportunities to schedule a mammogram and appointment with our women’s health provider, Lillian Pfister, FNP-C, WHNP-C. Appointments can be made by calling our Central Scheduling Department at 765-658-2760.
October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. Educational emails were sent to PCH employees while an informational display table was utilized in the main floor lobby with educational literature. The Cancer Center brought education to a DePauw “Attack Cancer” volleyball game and sponsored a Balloon Launch in memory and honor of those with breast cancer. There were a total of 1806 mammograms completed at PCH for 2016 (this is an increase of 35 mammograms when compared to 2015). Of these, there were 30 cases that required biopsies with 17 that were positive for breast cancer. On October 12, Cindy Mason, Mammography Department, went to South Putnam High School and gave a talk on Breast Cancer Awareness and self breast exam instruction to 45 sophomore girls. The program was well received and followed with a question and answer session.
Prostate Cancer was the focus of the educational and screening programs in November. Educational information was emailed to PCH employees and an educational display table was set up in the hospital main lobby. The Prostate Screening was held on November 17 with Dr. Sameer Ahmed, Dr. Mahesh Sreedasyam, and Dr. LG Palanca volunteering to perform the exams. There were 50 participants, with a total of 32 recommended for further follow-up. A prostate blood test was also completed at a reduced rate of $10 by the PCH Laboratory Department, with 3 participants found to have elevated levels. There were also 2 participants who tested positive for blood in their stool.
Almost every individual has been affected by cancer or has a friend or loved one who has had this devastating disease. The Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center treats cancer and blood disorders with the most up-to-date, nationally recommended treatment regimens. We also strive to make sure our local residents are armed with the information and the best defense to prevent or find cancer as soon as possible.
Many individuals are involved in helping with the success of our program. We would like to thank the physicians, and the Oncology, Radiology, Laboratory, Surgery, Dietary, Administration, and Marketing Departments for their support and dedication to our outreach programs. Our community is fortunate to have competent local family and pediatric physicians and surgeons who are vigilant in improving the health of their patients along with reducing the risk factors and monitoring for signs and symptoms of cancers. We would also like to thank those individuals, businesses, organizations and churches who have so generously made financial contributions, donated items, or helped in any way so that we can help make a difference in the lives of our local residents and those who are battling cancer.