The Michigan Cancer Consortium has awarded the Kalamazoo County Cancer Control Coalition with a Spirit of Collaboration Award for its ‘Blue Ribbon Days’ colorectal cancer screening project.  The Spirit of Collaboration Award is the highest honor the Michigan Cancer Consortium presents to member organizations and it recognizes outstanding collaborative work that significantly moves cancer prevention and control activities forward in Michigan.

“The recognition is very meaningful to us, as well as all of our partners, because it signifies we have collaboratively made an impact on cancer prevention and control in Southwest Michigan,” said Joseph Mirro, MD, CEO/CMO of West Michigan Cancer Center.  Specifically ‘Blue Ribbon Days’ provided free screening colonoscopies to 57 individuals, 30% of whom were found to have polyps which are growths that can sometimes lead to cancer.  In addition, the project raised awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening to tens of thousands of people in Southwest Michigan through a promotional campaign that included a health fair, posters, pharmacy handouts and media coverage. 

“As co-chair of the Michigan Cancer Consortium, we are so pleased to have this opportunity to shine the light on partnerships that truly are making a difference in cancer prevention and control in their communities,” said Chuck Sherwin, FACHE, Vice-President of Business Development & Clinical Services at Alpena Regional Medical Center. ‘Blue Ribbon Days’ serves notice that when communities work together, cancer prevention goals can be achieved,” Sherwin continued. 

Partners in the Blue Ribbon Days colon cancer screening awareness campaign included:  American Cancer Society, Blue Cross Clue Shield of Michigan, Borgess Health, Bronson Health, Endoscopy and Surgery Center of Woodbridge Hills, Family Health Center, Gastroenterology of Southwest Michigan, Kalamazoo Anesthesiology, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Kalamazoo Colorectal Cancer Awareness Network (KCRAN), Kalamazoo County Cancer Control Coalition (KCCCC), Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services, Kalamazoo Endo Center, Kalamazoo Gastroenterology Hepatology, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies Pharmacy, LifeLinc Anesthesia, Meijer and West Michigan Cancer Center. 

The Michigan Cancer Consortium is a statewide, broad-based partnership that strives to include all interested public and private organizations and provides a forum for collaboration (communication, coordination, and the sharing of resources) to reduce the burden of cancer among the citizens of Michigan by achieving the Consortium’s research-based and results-oriented cancer prevention and control priorities.  Every year since 2001, the Michigan Cancer Consortium has presented its highest honor — the Spirit of Collaboration Award — to member organizations that have done outstanding collaborative work to significantly move comprehensive cancer control activities forward in our state.

Michigan Cancer Consortium website: