The Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention (AWHP) has awarded its inaugural grant, in the amount of $730,000, to the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to analyze these recent trends in cervical cancer screening and detection from a diverse population of women who are currently underrepresented in the data used by the U.S. government to set guidelines for screening.
“Our mission is to advance policy that drives equitable access and prevents the burden and progression of disease to improve the lives and health of all women and girls,” said Millicent Gorham, CEO and Board Chair, AWHP. “We are proud to be partnering with ASCP and investing in this important research, which we believe will help lay the groundwork for more comprehensive and equitable cervical cancer screening guidelines, and ultimately help save lives.”
ASCP will utilize the data to inform the healthcare community, patients, patient advocates, and policymakers of current trends in cervical cancer screening and detection in a more diverse population than is currently available in the scientific literature.
“We know that cervical cancer is caused by infection from the human papillomavirus, and we know that women of lower socioeconomic status tend to have less access to preventive health care,” says Ali Brown, MD, FASCP, chief medical officer for ASCP.
ASCP will work with a geographically diverse set of clinical sites around the country to look at retrospective data from patients to identify how frequently they receive cervical cancer screenings and review the history of their results to ascertain if there is a higher prevalence of cervical cancer in these diverse communities.
“The value of a scientific study that would combine data from multiple diverse sites that will help us identify the current state of cervical cancer and precancer detection and screening in the U.S. is critical and overdue,” says Dr. Brown.
ASCP will utilize its established HIPAA-compliant quality registry, the National Pathology Quality Registry (NPQR), to aggregate, standardize, and study historical data on cervical cancer screening and detection, serving as a trusted central hub. The aggregated data will be analyzed to identify recent trends in cervical cancer and precancer detection rates in diverse populations, as well as other relevant clinical and socioeconomic factors available.
“We will be a clearinghouse for these data,” Dr. Brown explains, adding that ASCP brings to this project a strong background of patient advocacy work. The ASCP Center for Quality and Patient Safety has extensive experience in collaborative projects between multiple clinical sites that involve analyzing aggregated patient data and performing analytics.
“This project directly aligns with the Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention’s mission because we seek to gather data that will potentially lead to creating policies that are more equitable and representative of the vast diversity of women and women’s experiences in this country,” Dr. Brown says.
The Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) non-profit organization working to ensure that all women and girls have access to high-quality preventive care. Our mission is to advance policy that drives equitable access and prevents the burden and progression of disease to improve the lives and health of all women and girls.
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit http://www.ascp.org. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ascp_chicago and connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ASCP.Chicago.
SOURCE American Society for Clinical Pathology