SVMC Seeks Input on Colorectal Cancer Screening
/ Categories: NEWS, 2021

SVMC Seeks Input on Colorectal Cancer Screening

BENNINGTON, VT—June 30, 2021—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) is initiating a survey to collect information about Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening. The goal of the survey is to understand barriers to screening so SVMC can address those barriers to increase patients’ CRC screening rates and lower mortality due to colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer (cancer that begins in the colon) is the third most common cancer in the United States for both men and women. There are often no symptoms until the disease progresses, but is highly treatable in its early stages. Regular screenings can identify abnormalities early on and help prevent them from turning into cancer. In most cases, colorectal cancers begin as benign or non-cancerous polyps (small growths that project out from the inside lining of the colon or rectum). Not all polyps turn into cancer, but those that do typically take several years. Screening for colon cancer is crucial because it allows polyps or abnormal tissue to be detected and removed early, which can prevent cancer from developing. If colorectal cancer is found in early stages, it is extremely treatable.

“SVMC primary care providers are experts in screening for disease, including colorectal cancer,” said Robert Schwartz, MD, medical director for Primary Care, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam. “They are able to ensure that patients get the screening that is right for them. They will also ensure that the patient gets appropriate follow up and all questions are answered.”

Community opinions about colorectal cancer screening will be collected using a short, anonymous digital survey. A link to the electronic survey will be published at, included in SVMC’s weekly e-newsletter, and posted on the hospital’s social media pages. Those who complete the survey can opt to submit their email address be included in a drawing to receive one of ten $50 gift cards. The survey will close on August 5, 2021.

“The survey will provide vital information about the communities we serve,” said Rory Price, the health system’s coordinator of Population Health. “While SVMC is always looking for feedback from our community, this survey offers a chance for a deeper discussion about the barriers to good health that exist locally. Through this process, we can identify solutions and areas for improvement to support long and healthy lives for everyone in our community.”

Those with questions about the CRC survey may contact Rebecca-Hewson Stellar, RN, Nurse Navigator at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center at or 802-447-5082.

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, healthcare system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.
SVMC has earned several prominent distinctions. Most recently, SVMC received the American Hospital Association’s Rural Healthcare Leadership Award for transformational change in efforts toward healthcare reform and its fifth consecutive designation within the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. It ranked fourth in the nation for healthcare value by the Lown Institute Hospitals Index in 2020 and is one of Vermont’s Best Places to Work. SVMC earned an ‘A’ for hospital safety from the Leapfrog Group for two years in a row. During the pandemic, SVMC and both its skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington, and the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Hoosick Falls, earned perfect scores on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services evaluation meant to determine the ability to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other infections.
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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