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Foundation funds help detect early signs of cancer and speed treatment

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(HOWARD, SD) – A diagnosis of cancer can turn a patient’s life upside down – physically, emotionally, and financially. Detecting it early, through screenings supported by investors through the Horizon Health Foundation, can ease those financial burdens and increase survival rates.

Colon cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. One in every 23 men and one in every 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Horizon provider Jocelyn Bergh, PA-C, of Martin, has firsthand experience treating a patient diagnosed with colorectal cancer after it was too late for a positive outcome.

“I encourage patients that I don’t want to see them in those kinds of dire straits,” Bergh said. “Right away when someone turns 45, or actually even before that in their 20s and 30s, I start talking about colorectal cancer and the reasons we screen for those things.”

Screenings have improved survival rates in older individuals, but younger people are now showing higher degrees of colorectal cancer. A new guideline for colorectal cancer screenings advises beginning at age 45.

“It breaks my heart to have to tell someone they have cancer,” Bergh said. “So, if there’s anything I can do to get somebody to do an I-fob, do a Cologuard, do a colonoscopy, I’m going to do it and I’m going to hit them hard with it.”

There are no easily identifiable symptoms of colorectal cancer so regular screenings are the best way to ensure an early diagnosis. Horizon Heath Care has a goal of screening 52% of its age-eligible patients. Providers indicate that the screening cost is a barrier to achieving this goal.

Donors to the Horizon Health Foundation can make a substantial impact in alleviating this financial burden. With a donation of just $66, you can pay for a cancer screening that could save a life. 

“We are grateful to our friends of the Foundation that support Horizon Health Care patients and programs,” said Tracy Pardy, Horizon Health Foundation Executive Director. “Through the Cancer Care Fund, we are able to provide patients in need with a life-saving screening.”

About Horizon Health Foundation

The Horizon Health Foundation was established in 2016 to ensure rural health care access to those in need and provide funding for Horizon Health Care Horizon Health Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, seeks through responsible activities to encourage and derive sustaining gift support from current and former patients and interested friends, including corporate entities. The Horizon Health Foundation Office, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, is the duly designated fund-raising arm for Horizon Health Care, Inc.  In the broadest sense, the purpose of the Foundation is to create an awareness of the financial needs of Horizon Health which are not provided by patient charges and to systematically implement plans by which dollar needs can be met. For more information, please visit or call 605.772.4553.