Are you working on a project that might benefit from “endorsement” by the Minnesota Cancer Alliance? As an endorsed project, you would be able to:

  • Co-brand your project with the Minnesota Cancer Alliance and use the Alliance logo
  • Use the affiliation to support funding applications
  • Post information about the project on the MCA website
  • Recruit partners through the Minnesota Cancer Alliance network

The Minnesota Cancer Alliance places a high value on projects that:

  • Involve two or more member organizations
  • Directly link to objectives and strategies in Cancer Plan Minnesota 2011-2016
  • Employ evidence-based or evidence-informed tactics
  • Have clear and measurable outcomes or outputs

To have your project endorsed by the Minnesota Cancer Alliance, please complete the application here.

Endorsed Projects:

80 by 18 Clinic Recognition

This project creates recognition for all MN clinics who met or exceeded 80% CRC screening rate in 2016 based on MN Community measurement Quality report.  The 84 clinics that met the threshold will receive a letter of notification with certificate, have their names added to a poster highlighted at March 6th reception, and may be noted in March 2017 social media posts.

Partners in this project are:

Minnesota Community Measurement
American Cancer Society
Colon Cancer Coalition
Sage Scopes Screening Program

For more information contact Matt Flory ( / 651-335-8926).

MN Colon Cancer Network Stakeholder Meeting

June 28, 2016
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
451 Lexington Pkwy N.
St. Paul, MN 55104

The Minnesota Colon Cancer Network Stakeholder Meeting will review progress on the 2015 colon cancer workgroup and plan for 2016-2017. The meeting will focus on continuing to implement systems changes within health systems that increase risk-appropriate screening. Attention also will be paid to methods for increasing consumer demand for screening among groups that experience high mortality rates from colorectal cancer. Participants will be asked to review and comment on draft colon cancer objectives and strategies for the updated Cancer Plan Minnesota. The meeting is organized by the Minnesota Department of Health Sage Scopes program and the American Cancer Society.

You can now view slides from the presentations:

Jane Korn: Timeline of Colon Cancer in MN
Anne Snowden: Colon Cancer Screening in MN: Where are we today?
Erin Peterson: Colon Cancer Coalition
Matt Flory: CDC and NCCRT
Tina Nelson: Creating Awareness and Stimulating Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Additional links and resources can be found on the Minnesota Colon Cancer Network Stakeholder Meeting page.

For more information contact Matt Flory ( / 651-855-8190).

2016 Colorectal Cancer Screening Model Medical Practice awards

In February 2016 the American Cancer Society and the Minnesota Cancer Alliance along with partners from the Minnesota Department of Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, HealthPartners, Stratis Health, Minnesota Community Measurement, UCare, and ICSI convened a committee to consider recognition for the 2016 Colorectal Cancer Screening Model Medical Practice awards.

At the Blue Bridges Reception on March 8, 2016, the committee recognized outstanding effort in four categories:

  • Allina Health System, Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates, Essentia Health, Fairview Southdale and Fairview Ridges hospitals, HealthPartners, Mayo Clinic, North Memorial Healthcare, and West Side Community Health Services were all recognized for their demonstration of innovative approaches to colon cancer screening.
  • For being outstanding in their efforts to increase colon cancer screening rates, the committee recognized Essentia Health, North Memorial, and West Side Clinic as “Model Medical Practices: Increased Screening Rates.”
  • For being outstanding in their commitment to address disparities, the committee recognized North Memorial and West Side Clinic as “Model Medical Practices: Commitment to Reduce Disparities.”

In addition, 76 clinics were recognized for implementing changes within their health systems to achieve screening rates of 80% or more in the MN Community Measurement’s Quality report. 80% by 2018 is a movement initiated by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable in which hundreds of organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of reaching 80% screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

For more information contact Matt Flory ( / 651-855-8190).

BMT Legal Services Clinic

The BMT Legal Services Clinic is a brand new, synergistic, collaborative partnership created to enhance health outcomes for blood cancer patients through the provision of on-site pro bono legal services. The BMT Legal Services Clinic has been established through a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) between Fairview and Cancer Legal Line (CALL) and is the first oncology based MLP in the Upper Midwest.

Legal services will be integrated into the health care setting through the establishment of an on-site legal clinic, one-half day per week, in the University of Minnesota’s, Masonic Cancer Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit (BMT). With over 300 MLPs throughout the country, there is a growing recognition of the important benefits this inter-disciplinary approach provides to support patients and enhance their health care outcomes. Some social determinants of health have legal answers and the BMT Legal Services Clinic is an innovative and collaborative means of meeting those needs.

The BMT Legal Services Clinic helps clients meet basic needs through the provision of pro bono civil legal assistance in the following areas (I-Help):

I–Insurance Coverage (health insurance, short/long term disability)
H–Housing and Financial (eviction, foreclosure, creditor issues, bankruptcy)
E–Employment (ADA/MHRA discrimination and reasonable accommodation, FMLA)
L–Legal Planning (Health Care Directives, Guardianship, Wills, Powers of Attorney)
P–Public Benefits (Social Security Disability Benefits, Supplemental Security Income)

During the first year of the MLP, at least 75 BMT patients will be provided with pro bono legal care consultation services on-site in the BMT clinic. For the past six years, legal services have been provided by CALL to BMT patients on a referral basis by their social worker. These patient/clients may be at any stage of the transplant process and usually come to CALL at a time of great crisis, needing legal intervention services on an urgent and reactive basis. The intent of the MLP is to change this dynamic by creating a proactive model, incorporating legal care into the definition and provision of health care. By providing earlier interventions, pre-transplant and on-site in the BMT unit, the best possible patient outcomes will be achieved with the least crisis intervention. This proactive model will allow us to support patients, avert crisis, and provide legal assessment pre-transplant.

For more information, contact Cancer Legal Line.

Could Cancer Run in Your Family?

Together we are creating a series of 5 animation videos to support efforts to demystify Genetic Counseling for cancer patients… and highlights specifically for colon cancer patients. Each video will be co-branded as Minnesota Genetic Counseling Association in conjunction with the Colon Cancer Coalition.  The videos will be both fun and informative and include an upbeat style with both music and graphics. These videos will use both white board and graphic animation. Note: Each video will be 90-120 seconds in length The videos will address the following 5 themes: 1. What is genetic counseling 2. What is genetic testing 3. Collecting your family history 4. Hereditary colon cancer 5. How genetic counseling/testing affected my family/screening/treatment/life

For more information, contact Anne Carlson at

Development of culturally appropriate educational materials on HPV for American Indian Communities

The purpose of this project is to develop and test, through focus groups, culturally specific mailing and educational materials for Human Papilloma Virus vaccinations to be used in Minnesota’s America Indian populations for the prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers. The project also includes the distribution of the educational materials and reminder mailings through organizations that serve American Indian populations throughout Minnesota. There is a lack of resources within these communities to develop and distribute quality culturally appropriate cancer control and prevention education materials. The primary audiences of this project are parents of American Indian children ages 11-18 years, and the American Indian adolescents themselves. We will collaborate with multiple Minnesota American Indian partners and stakeholders to implement this project. The Indian Health Board has calculated a female age-adjusted cervical cancer mortality rate of 15.6 per 100,000 people, which is 5 times that of the U.S. rate of 3.0 per 100,000 people for Northern Plains American Indian population, which includes Minnesota.

We propose several focus groups, involving both American Indian parents of adolescents and adolescents themselves. Through the focus groups we will also be able to assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding HPV immunizations of American Indian parents of youth ages 10-17 and young adults ages 18-26.  The information obtained from this preliminary work will used to direct awareness messaging and materials that are specific to this population in order to promote HPV vaccine uptake. One benefit of message testing the materials is ensuring that all communications reflect messages that we know are meaningful to key constituents, American Indian parents and adolescents.

The Minnesota/Wisconsin Intertribal Comprehensive Cancer Council has committed to working with the Minnesota Cancer Alliance to offer insight in material development, participate in recruitment efforts for the focus groups, and disseminate the resulting materials. The participants from the cancer council will help identify vaccine champions in each of their tribal regions, as well as assist in making connections to parent groups, and health providers working with adolescents in clinics in their regions.

The American Indian Cancer Foundation will provide project management necessary for message testing focus groups with the target population. Staff members from AICAF will the lead on focus group planning, data entry and analysis, recruit participants and co-facilitate focus groups, and will provide any necessary project oversight.

For more information contact Michelle Strangis or 651-201-5094.

Improving Health for Populations and Communities – Improving Prevention and Early Diagnosis

Over the next three years, Stratis Health, as part of its role as Minnesota’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), will bring together medical practices, providers, and community stakeholders to participate in the common goal of improving health for populations and communities. Stratis Health’s work includes a number of initiatives to help overcome barriers to providing quality preventive care.

Stratis Health will focus support and technical assistance in the following areas:

  • Preventive Care Learning and Action Network: developing and facilitating a learning collaborative for practices with newly-installed electronic health records (EHRs) to use those systems to improve preventive health and outcomes of patients
  • Cardiac Care Learning and Action Network: developing and facilitating a learning collaborative focused on improving the health and outcomes of cardiac patients
  • Working with medical practices, providers, community stakeholders, and partners to improve cardiac and preventive rates in Minnesota

The goals of the project are to:

  1. Connect providers with their communities for better preventive care delivery
  2. Encourage participation in quality reporting initiatives
  3. Improve cardiac and preventive outcomes for all Minnesotans.

While the project focuses on a number of measures, there are three measures that are part of Cancer Plan Minnesota that are included in this work:

  • Tobacco cessation intervention among consumers who smoke
  • Colorectal cancer screening among consumers ages 50-75
  • Breast cancer screening among female consumers ages 40-69

Some of the activities of this project include:

  • Working together with medical practices, providers, partners and community stakeholders to develop strategies for improving the delivery of preventive care services
  • Analyzing data to assess status of community- and practice-level preventive care delivery to identify specific opportunities for improvement and track results
  • Providing guidance to assist medical practices in changing systems, processes, workflows, and culture to improve preventive care
  • Planning approaches to standardize, sustain, and spread improvements
  • Sharing best practices and evidence-based interventions, both locally and nationally

Stratis Health will continue to work with the following partners: American Cancer Society, MN Department of Health, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit – MN Department of Health, American Heart Association, Million Hearts Initiative.

For more information about this project, please contact Jerri Hiniker at

Live Smoke Free

Live Smoke Free, a program of the Association for Nonsmokers- Minnesota, educates and assists apartment building owners, managers, local policy makers, apartment residents, and housing industry professionals about the benefits of smoke-free multi-unit housing. In addition to smoke-free policy assistance, Live Smoke Free helps renters find solutions to secondhand smoke incursion problems. Since 2007, Live Smoke Free and it’s partners have assisted over 900 multi-unit properties in Minnesota in adopting or implementing a smoke-free policy. Live Smoke Free is also funded by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide training and technical assistance to local public health agencies and community groups on developing smoke-free multi-unit housing programs. Projected outcomes include: more apartment buildings going smoke-free, increased involvement by community groups on the topic of smoke-free multi-unit housing, and extending our reach to include more supportive and public housing.

Involved Partners:

  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Public Health Law Center
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • ClearWay
  • American Lung Association in Minnesota
  • Anoka County Public Health
  • Hennepin County Public Health
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Wellshare International
  • Northpoint, Inc
  • Lao Family
  • Many other local health departments and community health groups.

To learn more, contact Brittany McFadden, 651-646-3005.

Pathways Stepping Forward

Through this project we will continue to increase our outreach to community clinics, hospitals and organizations who include well-being as part of their per view (seniors, youth, veterans, etc) to form mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships. These relationships continue to referrals to Pathways complementary therapies, care and services. Through this project we are also expanding the service provision of, and facilitator training for, Renewing Life™, our 9-week or 3-day intensive transformative program to MN Oncology, Frauenshuh patients, the breast cancer community and extended cancer communities as we move forward. This program is designed to empower participants to live authentically using practical tools, which support and encourage participants to view illness and loss as opportunities for spiritual and emotional growth.
We also work with the Virginia Piper Breast Cancer center, Park Nicollet, have interacted with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of MN, have provided 6 Renewing Life™ retreats to date through funding from the Minnesota Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and are involved with many other local groups. This continues to increase the effectiveness of our outreach, and will efficiently use the limited resources of all of these nonprofit organizations. We are all small-staffed, but we are all so important in reaching out to individuals with chronic diseases and/or terminal illnesses! Working together will produce the best outcomes! We are increasing our sessions of advance care planning offered by providers at Pathways, and have collaborated with Fairview to bring speakers to Pathways on the subject. We will continue to do this. We also stock our library with helpful reading materials on the subject. Services will continue to be 100% free and donated.
For more information about this project, and/or if you are interested in becoming a Renewing Life™ facilitator, please contact Tim Thorpe at or visit Pathways Website at

Renewing Life Retreat™ for Breast Cancer Survivors Flyer: Komen- Renewing Life Retreat for Breast Cancer Survivors

Renewing Life Retreat™ for Breast Cancer Survivors Application: Participant Application for 3 day Renewing Life™ Retreat

Renewing Life Retreat™ Facilitator Application Training: Renewing Life Retreat™ Facilitator Application Training

Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation

Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation is a program of the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota (ANSR). TFYR’s mission is to assist recreational organizations and communities in their efforts to create a tobacco-free environment where they can promote and model tobacco-free lifestyles.  This is accomplished by helping groups partner with youth and adult community members to implement a recreation-based tobacco prevention strategy. This strategy helps communities encourage youth not to use tobacco, protects the health of all community members by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, lessens the impact of harmful tobacco waste on the environment, and sets a new social norm regarding tobacco use.

TFYR helps communities conduct assessments, develop policy language, build support for a policy, and put a tobacco-free parks policy in place. This year, we will continue to assist communities throughout Minnesota in making their parks and other recreation areas tobacco free.

To learn more about TFYR, visit or contact Emily M. Anderson, Program Director at

Colon Cancer Provider/Practice Workgroup

The CRC Provider/Practice Workgroup was formed by the American Cancer Society and the Minnesota Department of Health to promote health systems changes that increase risk appropriate colon cancer screening procedures and initiatives. The workgroup, in support of the “80 by 2018” target set by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, aims to create communication strategies that educate providers and practices about proven ways to increase CRC screening rates.

The workgroup has conducted three webinars with model providers as presenters and plans to recognize providers and practices that demonstrate improvements in screening rates from 2014 to 2015.  A face-to-face meeting for 2016 activities is planned for March 9th, 2016.

If you want to get involved, contact Matt Flory at