Join Greenwood’s war against lung cancer

Roderick C. Givens, MD, Medical Director, The Cancer Center at Greenwood Leflore Hospital

Editor, Commonwealth:

A war is brewing in Greenwood. Lung cancer is the foe, and we must band together all of the forces to have a chance to win. Those forces have begun to create a united effort that many of you have yet to hear about.

“Survive to Thrive,” or “S2T,” is a program that is a result of a partnership between the Mississippi Public Health Institute and Greenwood Leflore Hospital, made possible through a generous grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Bridging Cancer Care grant mechanism. While there are more than 150 enrollees, there are very many more people in the Delta who could benefit from this program.

S2T specifically targets lung cancer. From early detection and screening to follow-up care after treatment, the program includes services designed to help. You will even get a nurse navigator and a case manager to help you keep track of those appointments. A community networker will visit with you to make sure that S2T knows of all of your needs. Best of all, participating in the program is absolutely free.

For smokers, Greenwood Leflore Hospital is now offering low-dose lung screen CT scans. If you have a smoking history of more than 30 “pack years,” you qualify for this benefit. A “pack year” is a combination of how long and how much you have smoked. For example – a pack a day for 30 years is 30 pack years. Likewise, two packs a day for 15 years is 30 pack years. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances cover the cost of these CT scans. For those without coverage, they are only $99. Give yourself the peace of mind of a clear scan or the early detection of a problem.

S2T also works directly with the Mississippi State Department of Health Office of Tobacco Control for those trying to quit smoking. From cessation support to assisting with the purchase of aids such as patches, S2T can help you create the perfect plan to quit.

For those persons who are identified with a problem after their lung screen, S2T doesn’t stop there. The nurse navigator will help you with understanding any test results, creating a plan of action and starting your care plan in the S2T database. The case manager will help with any appointments and even assist you with transportation, if you need it. If you have a problem, the nurse navigator and case manager will do their best to find a solution. Since they have been working with more than 150 people for the last year, they have probably solved those problems before. S2T even includes a transportation service to get you where you need to be.

Once enrolled, the nurse navigator and case manager will follow you throughout any treatment or follow-up care. Your entire health history will be in a single file that can go anywhere you want. Lab work, X-rays, doctor visits and treatment will all be in one place.

So you see, Survive to Thrive offers patients a complete package for free. If there is something keeping you from taking care of yourself, S2T is there to fix it. From screening to treatment to follow-up, you have someone to help you make your way through the maze.

Let us help you help yourself. Please call today. We are waiting on your call at 459-7133.