Champions for Care Advocate for Lung Cancer Screenings

Each year, a special group of Missouri Baptist donors called “Champions for Care” make a collective major gift toward a project focused on improving care for patients. Champions’ individual gifts are pooled together to make these projects a reality.

In 2019, Champions successfully raised funds to acquire nine new dialysis machines for the hospital’s inpatient dialysis unit. Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop a virtual celebration for donors in July, recognizing the program’s success and Champion’s generosity.

In 2020, the focus is on funding a second lung cancer screening nurse navigator and expanding lung cancer screenings for those who are underinsured or can’t afford the copay. The goal is to raise $90,000.

Currently, Missouri Baptist has one nurse navigator for the lung cancer screening program, who is at maximum capacity with over 2,000 patients enrolled in the program. Adding another nurse navigator will expand the program to help educate more physicians and patients across Missouri about the need for a low-dose CT scan to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages in patients at high risk for lung cancer.

The program’s nurse navigator, Beth Arenas, BSN, RN, OCN, helps patients understand the screening process, advocates for them, makes sure they qualify for insurance coverage, and coordinates procedures with physician offices.

“Beth went above and beyond for me,” says Gay Critchlow, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 through the screening. “I had a misunderstanding that if I got lung cancer it was a death sentence. It turns out there’s a lot doctors can do for patients when lung cancer is caught early. I had minimally invasive surgery and didn’t need chemo or radiation. Today, I’ve quit smoking and am living a healthier lifestyle. I’m a cancer-free success story.”

“I was happy to contribute to the Lung Cancer Screening Program. I will be forever grateful to this program and to all the individuals who supported me in my successful lung cancer treatment -- two years clean and healthier!”

To participate in Champions for Care, submit your donation through our online form or contact the Missouri Baptist Healthcare Foundation at 314-996-5054.

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