Michigan Association of Health Plans

Health providers to host free cancer screening & health fair in Flint on MLK Day

This story appeared in the Flint Beat. Read more here

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) will host a Flint community cancer screening and health fair at Berston Field House on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16, 2023.

NMQF, a national nonprofit leading the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative aligned with President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot 2.0, is hosting the event with Exact Sciences Corporation, a molecular diagnostics company with an emphasis on the detection of early-stage cancers. The health partners are also joined by Meridian of Michigan, a Michigan-based provider of government-sponsored health plans whose goal is to help individuals live better, healthier lives along with support from health institutions and community groups.

The event will offer free cancer screenings, COVID/influenza vaccinations, health screenings as well as complimentary lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Berston, located at 3300 Saginaw St. in Flint, Mich.

“This day of service honoring Dr. King offers the opportunity to help people prevent and learn about cancer. As a Flint native, I’m passionate about this cause and community,” said Kevin Conroy, Chairman & CEO, Exact Sciences. “Together with local organizations and healthcare systems, we’re building support for Flint’s cancer prevention and detection efforts and look forward to helping decrease the community’s cancer burden.”

The free health services that will be offered include COVID-19 vaccinations, behavioral health, oral health, and vision screenings. A free bag of food produce compliments of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will be available for those participating in screening evaluations.

“Dr. King once said that injustice in health was the most inhuman form of inequality because it leads to death that could have been prevented. Earlier detection of cancer should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay out-of-pocket,” said Dr. Gary Puckrein, President and CEO of NMQF. “The fair will be a fun and inclusive way to
increase education and access to cancer screening. We’re excited to host the Flint Cancer
Community Screening and Health Fair, and we hope members of the community join us for this occasion.”

The mission of the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative is to move medical standards in the country from late-stage to early-stage detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, improving cancer care, and reducing the incidence of cancer deaths for all, with a particular focus on health equity in underrepresented populations.

In 2022, the White House Cancer Cabinet identified priorities to close the screening gap as well as understand and address environmental exposure. In the coming year, the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative will support efforts to increase cancer screening for at-risk communities in Flint, Mich., support community-based engagement to increase awareness of cancer risk and treatment, improve clinical trial diversity as well as support efforts to understand the impact of the water crisis on cancer risk in the community.

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