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Methodist Health System Prostate Cancer Screening Program Wins Statewide Community Service Award
Date:1/22/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Methodist Dallas Medical Center has been named the 2008 recipient of the Texas Hospital Association's Excellence in Community Service Award. The hospital is being honored for its innovative prostate cancer screening and education program. The award was presented Jan. 22 at THA's annual Leadership Conference in Austin.

The hospital's prostate cancer screening program has screened more than 50,000 men since 2000, when the program was created. During that time, 200 cases of prostate cancer were identified that otherwise may have gone undetected. The program also has educated more than 122,000 people about prostate cancer.

"With Texas having the highest rate of uninsured citizens in the nation, programs such as this provide lifesaving services to people who otherwise might fall through the cracks," said Dan Stultz, M.D., FACP, FACHE, president/CEO of THA.

When Methodist Dallas Medical Center launched the program, the hospital was uncertain how it would be received in the challenging targeted demographic area -- the southern region of Dallas County. But the unprecedented momentum and impact the Prostate Screening Awareness Program (PSAP) has generated now serves as a model to outreach programs across the country.

"Our community health assessment revealed a huge need for a program to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer in the population we serve in southern Dallas County," said Michael Arvin, senior vice president and chief development officer, Methodist Health System. "We realized that men were slipping through the cracks because there were not enough access points for them to be screened and educated."

"Our challenge in southern Dallas County is that it has a high concentration of African American and Hispanic men who are more at risk for prostate cancer than other populations," Arvin added. "Compounding the problem is that culturally, these groups are much less likely to go to medical facilities for screenings for a variety of reasons. We had to develop a program that brought the services to them."

Bringing the service to the people instead of expecting the people to come to the service is at the very heart of why the PSAP has been so successful. Creative networking by Methodist Dallas Medical Center has been key to that process.

"We work extensively with church pastors who are advocates for our program with their congregations. We set up on site at local churches offering screenings, education and referral services. The program participants make a connection to our team and are much more likely to pursue follow-up as needed," said Arvin. "We also take our program to family reunions, barber shops, health fairs and grocery stores and we partner with a wide variety of organizations, including the Methodist Health System Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and the Communities Foundation of Texas." Arvin said one group that has been especially helpful and influential to the cause is 100 Black Men of Greater Dallas, Inc.

The PSAP has two full-time and several part-time staff members, who are assisted by a host of volunteers from agencies that partner with Methodist Dallas for this cause. The program is funded through philanthropic contributions, grants and money that Methodist Dallas allocates for its outreach programs. While the program focuses primarily on prostate cancer, there is an additional objective to identify other serious health threats that can be detected during the screenings.

"PSAP's mission is to help men in our communities identify medical needs at the earliest stage when treatment is viable and harm can be prevented," said Arvin.

About the Texas Hospital Association

Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state's hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members' abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents more than 85 percent of the state's hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 340,000 health care professionals statewide. To learn more, visit www.texashospitalsonline.org.

About Methodist Health System

Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) uses some of the latest medical technology and research to bring quality health care to individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
    Texas Hospital Association
    Amanda Engler, APR
    512/465-1026
    512/517-1133 (cell)

    Methodist Health System
    Sandra Minatra
    214/947-4603
    972/206-9485 (pager)



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SOURCE Texas Hospital Association
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