Contact Us: 734-712-3456
Media Contact:
Laura Blodgett, Media Relations
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center receives 2012 Spirit of Collaboration Award
Start Date
November 21, 2012 --- Ann Arbor, Michigan --- St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center's “Life” Colorectal Screening Education and Free Colonoscopy Program received the highest honor – the 2012 Spirit of Collaboration Award - from the Michigan Cancer Consortium. The award recognizes outstanding collaborative work that significantly moves forward cancer prevention and control activities in Michigan.

The "Life" program is a partnership between Huron Gastro, St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Pathology Department, Hope Medical Clinic and other local and state community partners to provide free colonoscopies to low income, uninsured men and women ages 50 to 64.

“The recognition is meaningful to us, and we’re proud of the accomplishment because having the ability to diagnose patients early and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer signifies that we can make an impact on cancer prevention and control in our service area,” said John Stout, director of oncology services at St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center.

In 2012, 50 individuals benefited from the free screening colonoscopies provided by the “Life” program. Nearly 50 percent of participants were found to have non-cancerous polyps. The removal of these polyps significantly diminishes the risk of developing colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women.

"The 'Life' program is so important for the uninsured patients at Hope Medical Clinic,” said Katherine Simpson, Hope Medical Clinic coordinator in Ypsilanti. “It is one of the few options for uninsured patients to obtain screening colonoscopies. We at Hope are deeply grateful for St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center's efforts to reach out to Hope and our patients."

The "Life" program will continue in 2013 to serve additional uninsured community members with valuable and potentially life-saving colonoscopy screenings. The program has an enrollment maximum of 50 participants for 2013 as it did in 2012. In addition, St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Services has received a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health that will help promote colorectal cancer screening awareness.

“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.

To learn more about the “Life” Program, call 734-712-2335.

# # #

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving six counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron and 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital. Combined, the six hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have six outpatient health centers, four urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.

A member of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMHS is committed improving the health of its communities by reinvesting its profits back into the community through new technologies, vital health services, and access for all. The hospitals of SJMHS provide approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit

About the Michigan Cancer Consortium
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: