In recognition of national colorectal awareness month (March), St. John’s Health is hosting free night skiing (or a ride on the mountain coaster) at Snow King Mountain on Thursday, February 27, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.
“We aim to create a family-friendly, active event around a subject that many people aren’t comfortable talking about,” said St. John’s Health general surgeon and interventional endoscopist Eric Wieman, MD, FACS. “We’ll have fun outdoors, and then we’ll come inside for food and information.”
All events take place in King’s Grill, beginning at 4:00 pm, when attendees can pick up a ticket for either free night skiing or a mountain coaster ride. Complimentary food and beverages will be available beginning at 6:00 pm, with a cash bar. At 6:30 pm, Dr. Wieman and cancer survivors will make brief remarks, followed by a drawing for door prizes, courtesy of Skinny Skis, Stio, Teton Gravity Research, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Throughout the evening, representatives from Teton County Health Department will be providing assistance on completing applications for free colonoscopies. Representatives from Wyoming Cancer Resource Services will offer information on cancer and appropriate screenings.
On Monday, March 16, 7:00-8:00 pm, St. John’s Health presents “Advances in Colon Cancer Genetics,” featuring keynote speakers gastroenterologist Priyanka Kanth, MD, of Huntsman Cancer Institute, and St. John’s Health surgeon Eric Wieman, MD. Talks will be followed by a panel of local experts, including oncologist Benjamin Solomon, MD, who holds visiting clinics at St. John’s Health. This event takes place at the Wort Hotel at 50 N. Glenwood in Jackson. Refreshments provided, and a cash bar is available.
According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis in both men and women. Experts estimate almost 100,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year. The good news is that the survival rate for early detection—or stage I colon cancer—is 92 percent.
Both men and women who lack symptoms and don’t have colon cancer in their family history should start screenings at age 50. St. John’s offers an easy process called open-access registration, for men and women age 50 and above, who lack symptoms, and who don’t have colon cancer in their family history. There’s no need for a referral or an initial office appointment ahead of the procedure. Patients can simply fill out a form at www.stjohns.health/colonoscopy, and a nurse will call them back to schedule the colonoscopy. Any precancerous polyps that are found during a colonoscopy are removed, making colonoscopy the only screening test that also serves as a treatment.
Barriers to getting a colonoscopy at St. John’s Health are virtually eliminated. For patients over 50, most colonoscopies are covered by the wellness benefit in their insurance. For information on St. John’s Health discounts and financial navigation, call 307.739.7247. In addition to the application for free colonoscopies provided by Teton County Health Department, St. John’s Health Foundation offers financial assistance through its cancer patient support fund. Support to this fund comes from GE Johnson.