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Temple Health Earns HAP Achievement Award for Excellence in Care

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Claire Raab, MD, President and CEO of Temple Faculty Physicians, and her team, which includes many Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University students and Internal Medicine residents, have earned a Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) Achievement Award for Excellence in Care.

HAP Achievement Awards recognize providers for innovative patient-centered initiatives that improve healthcare quality, efficiency, and community health. Dr. Raab and her team’s project—ACCESS (Advancing Colorectal Cancer Equity through Systematic Screening)—was one of only 13 winning entries selected from nearly 100 applicants, and was the large health system honoree in HAP’s Excellence in Care award category.

“At Temple Health, we’re fortunate to have leaders who not only drive the organization forward but are also at the forefront of innovation. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce that Dr. Raab and her team have earned this award and recognition from HAP,” said Abhi Rastogi, MBA, MIS, President and CEO of Temple University Hospital and Executive Vice President of Temple Health. “I congratulate the team on their extraordinary accomplishment, and on the work they have done to empower community members to take control of their health.”

Colorectal cancer mortality rates for majority groups have been steadily declining, but efforts to lower rates among underrepresented populations—like those served at Temple Health—have been much less successful.

“My team and I have met those disparities head-on with a ‘disruptor’ approach that lowers barriers to screening in two distinct ways,” said Dr. Raab. “The first is by handing out free stool-based point of care testing kits, which is easier to accomplish than colonoscopies for most patients. The second is by expanding the locations where a patient would typically receive a stool-based test from the primary care setting to churches, supermarkets, community fairs, and even Temple’s own specialty offices and lobbies. If patients have a positive test, consultation with a Temple Gastroenterologist and colonoscopy is completed within two weeks. These interventions have greatly increased the number of underserved patients accessing screening and benefitting from early detection for colorectal cancer.”

“Dr. Raab and her team demonstrate how innovative approaches to caring for our underserved populations can reduce care disparities, enhance access, increase patient satisfaction, and improve outcomes for the patients we serve. That is healthcare excellence and equity in action,” added Rastogi.