At the start of a new year, an annual tradition for many across the globe is to create a resolution. Of the top ten resolutions tweeted in 2015, many were associated with being healthier. Resolutions included exercising more, the most popular (no surprise!), and drinking and smoking less.
Another way to continue to be healthy in 2015 is to visit a primary care provider at a Community Health Center (CHC) to check in on current health status and receive preventive screenings. January is Cervical Health Awareness month, which is a time to advocate and educate women about the importance of health screenings. Cervical cancer screenings can detect abnormalities. Early detection leads to early treatment for abnormalities and improves long term health outcomes. Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer but also one of the most preventable cancers, according to National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC).
There are 18 CHCs in Colorado that provide primary care services and can help in the detection of cervical cancer. CHCs report annual data on 15 core quality of care measures to the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Cervical cancer screening is one of the performance measures reported, and allows CHCs to measure how well this service is being provided to patients. CHCs serve an important role in ensuring that patients receive preventative care, such as completing a Pap test. The Pap test helps with early discovery and treatment of cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) which NCCC reports is the leading cause of 99% of cervical cancers. The Centers of Disease Control note that yearly, 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 women will die from it.
CHCs provide a team-based model of care to ensure patients receive high quality, patient-centered health care and assistance. CHCs offer job opportunities for health professionals interested in working with patients and improving health outcomes such as reducing cervical cancer rates for patients. Some of the positions available at CHCs include:
- Medical Assistant: takes vital signs, documents medical history and works as a supporting team member with providers, nurses and other staff.
- Registered Nurse: provides screenings, assessments, and education as directed by supervising medical provider. Provides high quality care and may have quality improvement responsibilities.
- Health Educator: offers information on disease management, nutritional support, and overall health to support good health outcomes.
- OBGYN Physician: provides high quality patient-centered care with a focus on female health and pregnancies.
Are you interested in a mission-driven career that helps make a difference in patients’ lives? Check out the Mission Driven Careers Job Board or the CHAMPS Job Opportunities Bank for more information about how to join a team at a Colorado CHC. To learn more about Colorado’s CHCs and the great work they are doing, visit CCHN’s website. Additional Cervical Cancer Resources: