Implementing Educational and Systems-Level Changes to Improve Cancer Screening Rates Among State Employees in Missouri

Misty A. Phillips, Sarah Chavez, Maggie Grotefendt, Xarria Lewis, Melanie Gowdy, Jane A. McElroy, Jean S. Wang, Sandra Hentges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As of 2022, only 51% of active eligible state employees in Missouri have been screened for colorectal cancer and 67% for breast cancer, despite having state-sponsored health insurance. In fall 2020, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Comprehensive Cancer Program partnered with the Missouri Cancer Consortium to create a strategy to improve cancer screening rates among state employees. The project was designed to include 3 phases: 1) a colorectal cancer education phase, 2) an expanded education phase that included additional cancers, and 3) a proposed intervention phase that will include screening events. In the first phase, in 2020, colorectal cancer educational materials were sent to all state employees. In the second phase, in 2022, educational resources were expanded to include additional cancers and screening tools. In both initiatives, educational materials and information on current screening recommendations were distributed to approximately 40,000 state employees. A database of screening rates was developed to monitor screening rates and challenge state employees to complete screenings. Evidence-informed interventions were implemented with a focus on health equity. We used a regional approach to identify geographic areas with the greatest need. These efforts will support the next phase of the project, which involves planning breast and colorectal cancer screening events. Policy changes will be encouraged to remove systemslevel barriers that discourage employees from being screened for cancer. Recommended tools and strategies can be adopted by similar organizations with complex, multitier employee structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE79
JournalPreventing chronic disease
StatePublished - 2022


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