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For Immediate Release

December 17, 2007

American Cancer Society recognizes GHP for colorectal campaign

Rates for colorectal cancer 25 percent higher in Northeastern PA than national average

DANVILLE, PA – For the second time in two months, Geisinger Health Plan has been recognized for providing quality. On the heels of being named the top commercial and Medicare plans in our region by U.S. News and World Report and the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the American Cancer Society presented Geisinger Health Plan with a Gold Mission Impact award for GHP’s colorectal cancer program. This was the highest award given to a health plan by the American Cancer Society for colorectal cancer education and prevention.

A third time winner, the Health Plan also won a silver award in 2005 and a gold award in 2006.

The Gold Award in the Pennsylvania Division Cancer Control Awards is based on outreach efforts, program impact and cost effectiveness. GHP’s campaign was recognized as one of the most successful in Pennsylvania. Pamela Schauer, cancer control specialist for the American Cancer Society, states, “I continue to be impressed by the willingness and the creativity of Geisinger Health Plan to develop partnership campaigns with the American Cancer Society to fight cancer.”

GHP’s campaign goal was to educate physician and members on the screening guidelines. More than 1250 providers received colorectal cancer toolkits that contained Pennsylvania statistics on colorectal cancer, a laminated pocket-size guide, a sample patient education pamphlet, and a colorectal cancer poster for the physician’s office. Providers also received a list of their GHP patients who did not have a recommended colorectal cancer screening. In addition, 20,000 members received educational phone calls. High-risk members also received reminder postcards and letters.

Geisinger Health Plan, begun in 1985, is headquartered in Danville, PA and is one of the nation’s largest rural HMOs. GHP serves more than 210,000 members in 42 counties. Members have access to complete health-care benefits ranging from preventive care and routine office visits to hospital care and major surgery. Coverage is available for businesses of all sizes, individuals and families, and Medicare beneficiaries. PPO and high deductible plans are sold through Geisinger Quality Options, Inc. Self-funded and indemnity plans are sold through Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company. In November 2003, GHP won a Platinum Award for the 2002 Tell-a-Friend breast cancer campaign.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. Their community cancer control encompasses activities at the local, state, regional, or national level, which have a positive impact on the entire spectrum of prevention, early detection, effective treatment, survival, and quality of life related to cancer. The Pennsylvania Division Mission Awards are given to the best of the best projects and are judged based on the outcomes of the program. This is the seventh year that the American Cancer Society has handed out the Pennsylvania Division Cancer Mission Impact Awards.

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For more information, please contact
Amy Bowen, Public Relations Coordinator, (570) 271-8135

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