Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in Clark and Champaign counties.
During a visit to the Statehouse in Columbus this week, cardiothoracic surgeon Soumya Neravetla, MD, who cares for patients at Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center, gave a presentation on lung cancer to Gov. Mike DeWine and members of his cabinet, including Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health.
Neravetla advocated for ways Ohio can help improve lung cancer statistics, lower the cost burden of this disease and heighten survivorship and prevention efforts. Her recommendations include:
– A greater focus on early diagnosis of this disease
– Expanded access to lung cancer screening, particularly in rural counties
– Continuation of efforts to drive reductions in tobacco use
– Growing the number of tobacco-free locations
– Addressing flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars
– Graduated taxation of tobacco products
– Driving greater awareness of the Ohio Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
– Increasing point of sale signage that discourages tobacco use and promotes cessation messages and resources
– Elimination of tobacco sales via vending machines
– Consideration of higher physician reimbursements through Medicaid/Medicare for tobacco cessation counseling and improved coverage of tobacco cessation prescription medications
– Reintroducing and making permanent K-12 health education standards that include the consequences of tobacco usage
– Consideration of a more robust public service program that encourages prevention, cessation and screenings
– Encouragement of more in-state lung cancer research
Joining Neravetla for the presentation were Surender Neravetla, MD, cardiovascular surgeon and medical director of Cardiac Surgery at Springfield Regional Medical Center; Mercy Health – Springfield President Adam Groshans; and Kristy Kohl McCready, president of the Mercy Health Foundation of Clark & Champaign Counties.
Barbara Mills, co-founder and board member of the Gala of Hope Foundation in Greene County, arranged the opportunity to meet with the governor and his cabinet. Mills attended the meeting with Jeff Brock, executive director of Gala of Hope. The Mercy Health Foundation of Clark & Champaign Counties has been working with the Gala of Hope Foundation on lung cancer awareness initiatives.
This month, Mercy Health – Springfield has been offering lung cancer screenings and information sessions on lung cancer in Clark and Champaign counties.
The next lung screening takes place Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital, 904 Scioto St. Call 937-328-8100 to schedule a lung screening and for more information. Walk-ins welcome based on availability. If you are 50 or older, have a history of smoking over 30 years and if you currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years, you may benefit from an annual lung cancer screening. Using a CT scan, a radiologist can detect lung nodules that may be cancerous. Detecting lung cancer early can provide better health outcomes for patients. Talk with your physician about lung cancer screening.
Submitted by Mercy Health.