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Colorectal cancer screening funds

Published (1/30/2009)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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Minnesota could be in position to receive federal funds to screen 200 to 400 uninsured or underinsured people for colorectal cancer.

Called the Minnesota Colorectal Cancer Prevention Act, HF293 is sponsored by Rep. Maria Ruud (DFL-Minnetonka). It would provide matching funds for a possible federal grant to support a demonstration project for colorectal cancer screening at Hennepin County Medical Center and through the MeritCare system serving the northwest part of the state. The amount of state dollars has yet to be determined.

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the state, claiming the lives of more than 850 Minnesotans annually, according to the American Cancer Society.

“This is a very small demonstration project, but the potential impact, if we can bring this kind of access to more Minnesotans who need it, can be quite large,” said Tim Church, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He would oversee the project.

Approved by the House Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee Jan. 27 and sent to the House Finance Committee, the bill would also provide an unspecified amount in fiscal year 2010 to the University of Minnesota to evaluate the demonstration project.

The bill has no Senate companion.

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