A Message from Steven R. Carson, MHA, BSN, RN
Systemic inequalities have many health impacts on the communities served by the Temple Care Integrated Network, and lung cancer is no exception. Populations including Black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous Americans are often at heightened risk of late detection and worsened outcomes from lung cancer, as well as having higher rates of comorbidities that could impact treatment. New guidelines released in 2021 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force expand screening eligibility in ways that stand to benefit at-risk populations. Screening also provides us with a unique opportunity to catch and treat other conditions detectable via a chest LDCT scan, possibly improving additional health outcomes whether a patient has cancer or not.
The Temple Healthy Chest Initiative, profiled in this issue of Best Practice, partners with providers like you to ramp up lung cancer screening and also efficiently diagnose a multitude of other conditions. It introduces an integrated diagnostic process facilitated by a nurse navigator who ensures patients get any referrals and follow-up they need for everything from lung cancer to COPD to osteoporosis. You’ll also find resources for shared decision-making with patients around lung cancer screening.
Temple is happy to introduce additional resources to help your patients improve access to health care and wellness. This issue spotlights internet literacy programs to help patients connect and get the services they need, and the Farm-to-Families referral process for access to fresh, nutritious food.
We hope you will find these programs and partnerships useful as we work together against disparities and toward a healthier future.