St. Joseph Medical Center recently hired a new lung health coordinator to better educate the metro regarding lung health, lung cancer and the alarming trend of vaping, especially among youth. Michelle Boucher, RT, says that recent statistics in Missouri are raising red flags about the importance of lung cancer screenings, and the hospital is responding by offering affordable screenings to qualifying candidates.
“Although Missouri is well below the national average in lung cancer, the rate of new lung cancer cases (73.2) is significantly higher than the national rate of 59.6,” says Boucher. “This trend is cause for concern.”
Boucher says that to better reach the needs of Missouri patients, St. Joseph Medical Center is now offering a pay-in-cash $150 lung cancer scan — the lowest in the area — for those who are underinsured or have a physician order but have been denied by insurance. (Services are free to qualifying Medicare patients and most private insurances.)
Patients may receive one low-dose CT screening per year provided they meet the following criteria:
- Aged 55-77
- Current smoker or quit within past 15 years
- 30 pack-a-year smoking history
- No signs or symptoms of lung cancer (previous cancer dx is OK if no current symptoms)
“This screening is going to save a lot of lives, so I’m just excited to be a part of this within our community,” Michelle says. “We have a great team who is behind this 100 percent, so I know we’re going to do really great work here.”
Boucher joins the team at St. Joseph Medical Center with 20 years’ experience as a respiratory therapist.
“As our Lung Health Coordinator, Michelle will use her passion for providing extraordinary care and education to help guide and educate patients enrolled in the Lung Cancer Screening program and navigate their follow-up care,” says Jodi Fincher, CEO.
Michelle will oversee Early Detection Lung Cancer Screenings, a new program to be offered at St. Joseph Medical Center.
“Lung cancer kills more people every year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined,” Michelle reports. “It is the No. 1 cause of cancer death in the U.S., but many times these symptoms don’t present themselves until the cancer has progressed to later stages. When caught early, the survival rate increases substantially. Our goal is simple—detect cancer early and save lives.”
Michelle is also committed to addressing the pernicious trend of vaping. “I have two teenage sons who have friends, so I personally hear about the issue of vaping all the time,” Michelle says. “As a mother, I am passionate about the need for vaping education. We’re going to have a whole new generation of people addicted to nicotine and its damage, so we need to make sure we know what is going on.”
[Interested in hosting a Vaping Seminar or scheduling a lung cancer screening? Contact Michelle Boucher, Lung Health Coordinator at 816-943-4556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.]