The following letter was published in North Platte Telegraph, Grand Island Independent, Kearney Hub, and Scottsbluff Star Herald on April 2, April 5, April 6, and April 7.
North Dakota Lawmaker and Local Organizations Honored for Colorectal Cancer Screening Effort
March 18, 2019
Representative Jon Nelson has been honored with a 2019 North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Screening Achievement Award, along with 3 other honorees in the state. The North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable hosts these awards to celebrate local improvements and success in colorectal cancer screening. Representative Nelson and other awardees were honored by Governor Doug Burgum during his proclamiation of March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
"We are thrilled to recognize this year's awardess for their committment to increasing the number of North Dakotans who are up to date with life-saving colorectal cancer screening. It is encouraging to see the number and diversity of stakeholders committeed to improving colorectal cancer outcomes in our state!" said Dr. Donald Warne, NDCCRT Chair and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. when men and women are combined, yet it can be prevented or detected at an early stage.
Representative Jon Nelson of Rugby, ND, has been a champion for cancer prevention and screening throughout his career in the state legislature. In 2007, he champioined a pilot project to support colorectal cancer screening among the uninsured and underinsured. In the decades since that program began, his work has made access to colorectal cancer screening possible for hundreds of North Dakotans when they otherwise couldn't afford it.
Other North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Screening Achievement Award recipients included: Family HealthCare (Organization of the Year), Valley Community Health Center (innovators Award), and Standing Rock Indian Health Service (Innovators Award).
In addition to these state-level awardees, Sanford Health was selected by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for a 2019 80% by 2018 National Acheivement Award and was honored by the Governor as well.