Denver Health Receives American Cancer Society and National Football League Funding to Address Barriers in Cancer Screening

October’s Annual Crucial Catch Initiative Promotes Cancer Prevention and Addresses Screening Barriers in NFL Markets Across the Country


October 1, 2023 

Denver – Denver Health recently received American Cancer Society and National Football League CHANGE grant funding to increase access to colorectal cancer screening.  Since 2009, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Cancer Society have partnered to fight cancer and save lives through Crucial Catch. Along with educating the public about the importance of prevention and early detection, the initiative raises funds for CHANGE grants to help community health centers and health systems in under-resourced areas increase access to cancer screening.

Cancer can impact anyone at any age and finding cancer early increases survival rates. Still too many individuals for whom cancer screening is recommended remain unscreened due to barriers outside of their control.  Denver Health is using the CHANGE grant funding to implement strategies to reduce structural barriers to colorectal cancer screening through providing culturally sensitive cancer screening materials in non-English languages and making system-level changes to allow patients the ability to better manage their cancer screening and preventative care services through reminders and their electronic health record portal.

“Our staff felt that colon cancer screening is an important part of our larger goal to care for the whole patient and preventing disease in primary care,” said Amy Lu, MD, Medical Director at the Sam Sandos Westside Health Center. “By systematically communicating with our patients about its importance using their preferred language with culturally sensitive messages, we continue educating on the importance of cancer screening. Ben Feijoo, MD, Quality Improvement provider champion at the Federico Peña Southwest Family Health Center, agreed. “Early detection of colon cancer helps save lives!” he said.

“The NFL continues to be a collaborative partner in working to find the best ways to address screening disparities in the communities that need it most,” said Kelly Moran, Senior Executive Director of Colorado and Utah, American Cancer Society. “The funding these clinics receive through Crucial Catch fill critical gaps and allow healthcare professionals the opportunity to work on vital components of patient care and process that are key to improving outcomes.”

The NFL grants are part of a group of nearly 200 projects launched by the American Cancer Society that focus on improving cancer screening and HPV vaccination rates in targeted communities.  Since 2012, Crucial Catch funding has contributed to over 650,000 screenings and reached more than 1.2 million individuals. Crucial Catch promotes the connection between overall wellness and cancer prevention through providing local cancer screening resources via The Defender presented by Sleep Number.  Visit or TEXT “CATCH” to 635635 to find your local cancer screening center and additional screening resources.


About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support. We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


About Denver Health

Denver Health is a comprehensive health and hospital system that provides quality care for the Denver Community. Medical teams deliver medical, dental and mental health care to Denver’s population, proudly serving as the city’s safety-net hospital for more than 160 years. Denver Health’s commitment to our community includes educating the next generation of health care professionals and furthering critical research to benefit our patients and community.