Codman and American Cancer Society Highlight the Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening Among African Americans

Hindin, Rachel, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Hindin encourages patients to ask their providers about colorectal cancer screening.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented many people from seeking routine medical care such as cancer screenings. Data from the American Cancer Society (ACS) reported a staggering decline of more than 86% for those screenings.

Codman providers are especially concerned about a drop in colon cancer screenings because the disease is more prevalent and dangerous among African-Americans. This group is 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from it than other groups.

Now that we have moved past the most critical phase of the pandemic, and medical providers have developed safe ways to resume screenings, the ACS and Codman providers are urging those who are due for colorectal cancer screening to take action.

Colon cancer is 90% curable when caught early. There are several options for colorectal cancer screening and your provider can help you determine which is best for you.

“The most important thing is to get screened for colorectal cancer, no matter which test you choose,” says Dr. Rachel Hindin, an internal medicine physician at Codman.

In 2020 Codman Square Health Center was awarded a grant for work to increase colorectal cancer screenings, with funding made possible through the American Cancer Society’s partnership with the NFL and the League’s Crucial Catch campaign.

The grant enables Codman to offer patients several different ways to be screened for colorectal cancer. Any patient who wants to know if he or she is due for a colorectal cancer screening should contact their medical provider.

For more information on colorectal cancer screenings, visit this video, which features Dr. Hindin, among other providers.

Codman Launches Vaccine Education Campaign

 

codman nurse with arms crossed

Everyone is anxious to see the COVID-19 pandemic come to an end, and experts say the COVID-19 vaccine is the most important piece in the effort to end the pandemic. At Codman, we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep our patients, staff, and community as healthy and safe as possible, and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine is vital to that effort.

Codman encourages all patients who are eligible to get the vaccine to do so when their turn comes up, as our community has been hit particularly hard by the virus. However, we understand that some people are hesitant about the vaccine for several reasons.

Codman providers feel strongly that their patients get vaccinated and have worked with partners to launch a campaign to help encourage patients to feel comfortable about the vaccine. They did this through a poster series that features a dozen different Codman providers sharing that they got the vaccine, facts about the vaccine, and encouragement to get the vaccine when their turn arrives.

The campaign is featured throughout the health center, in newspaper advertisements, on social media, on the website, and more. Codman plans to launch new billboard advertisements and a postcard mailing to community encourage the COVID-19 vaccine.

We hope that our patients are open to the COVID-19 vaccine and will feel comfortable asking their providers any questions they have. Our website features an extensive selection of Frequently Asked Questions.

Codman Staff Celebrates Black History Month

Codman Square Health Center celebrated Black History Month in February with several different events aimed at celebrating Black heritage and culture, recognizing Black history, and understanding the Black experience today. Codman hosts Black History Month events each year, but this year had unique significance because the last 12 months included widely publicized and watched traumatic events, as well as remarkable social action.

Patients and community members probably saw the pan-African flag flying proudly outside the health center or the Black History Month banner in our front hallway. Codman’s social media accounts and advertisements in the Dorchester Reporter and the Bay State Banner also highlighted Black History Month at Codman.

Codman held twice weekly Black History Month trivia contests in which staff who answered the question correctly and were chosen at random won a $25 Amazon gift card. Staff members had a great time with the contest sharing their knowledge and learning something new.

We hosted a Black History Month lunch for staff catered by Above and Beyond Catering, and an ice cream social hosted by Dorchester’s Chill on Park. At the ice cream social, we raffled off 14 copies of the groundbreaking book 400 Souls, which includes the work of 90 Black writers who reflect on 400 years of African American history.

Each Friday, Codman encouraged staff to wear their favorite cultural apparel, and you’ll see some of those fashion choices below! We look forward to Black History Month 2022!

Sandra Cotterell wears cultural scarf

CEO Sandra Cotterell

Executive Assistant Lisa Hamblin wears cultural jacket

Executive Assistant Lisa Hamblin

Nia Ruiz Manickchan

Nia Ruiz Manickchan from Codman’s Urgent Care Department.

Staff member in BHM

Chantall Garrick from Codman’s Urgent Care Department

 

Codman CEO Sandra Cotterell Appears on ‘Greater Boston’

Bishop Borders, Jim Braude, and Sandra Cotterell

Bishop John Borders of Morning Star Baptist Church, Greater Boston Host Jim Braude, and Sandra Cotterell on the GBH show “Greater Boston.”

As the news about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Massachusetts focused on inequities in availability, Community Health Centers and Boston Medical Center (BMC) were in the process of planning and implementing large-scale vaccination clinics for Boston’s communities of color. GBH TV, which has been covering the vaccine rollout, invited community leaders, including Sandra Cotterell, Codman’s CEO, to speak about the situation.

Sandra appeared on the program, Greater Boston, on March 2 with host Jim Braude and fellow community leader Bishop John Borders, III to discuss the vaccine rollout, as well as the vaccination clinics that Boston Medical Center opened in Boston neighborhoods.

The show reported that while 25% of Boston residents are Black, only 18% had received their first vaccine doses. Meanwhile, Hispanics make up 20% of the cities population and only 9% had received their first dose. Meanwhile, Whites represent 44% of Boston and 47% have received their first vaccine dose.

Cotterell and Bishop Borders spoke proudly about opening up the sites in Mattapan and Dorchester. Codman and BMC offers the vaccine at Russell Auditorium at 70 Talbot Avenue, and BMC’s site with Mattapan Community Health Center is at Morning Star Baptist Church at 1257 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan.

The importance of these vaccines in Boston’s hardest hit neighborhoods cannot be overstated, and is truly the key to getting to the end of this pandemic. “The quicker we get people vaccinated, the sooner we are heading in the right direction,” Cotterell explained. Borders added:”To be part of the healing process is very important.”

You can watch the episode here.

Codman Partners with BMC to Open COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic in Dorchester

Rep Russell Holmes

State Rep. Russell Holmes addresses the group at Russell Auditorium.

Codman has partnered with Boston Medical Center (BMC) to open the Dorchester Community Vaccination site at Russell Auditorium (70 Talbot Ave). Patients of the health center and other community members will be able to schedule vaccinations at the site, which is a well-known neighborhood location.

We continue to provide community members COVID-19 testing at the site. The entrance for the testing is at the rear of the parking lot.

Codman and BMC celebrated the grand opening of the site on the morning of Tuesday, February 22. Attorney General Maura Healey joined the event, as did State Rep. Russell Holmes, Codman CEO Sandra Cotterell, and Thea James, Vice President of Mission for BMC.

Codman has been vaccinating patients as they qualify, according to state guidelines, since Feb. 8. The new vaccination site is much more convenient for our patients and community. The site is dedicated to COVID-19 testing and vaccination, and there is plenty of off-street parking. Patients can get in and out of the site in minutes.

The new site is a welcome one for the community, as some residents are not able to easily travel to the closest state vaccination sites.

“Sites like this are very important for our community,” said Cotterell. “Having a site for residents where they live — where they get the support of trusted people that they know from Boston Medical Center, Codman and other local health centers — will go a long way in addressing the communities they serve and help to get vaccines in the arms of those who need it.”

The Dorchester Reporter and the Boston Herald covered the event.

Codman’s Tax Clinic Opens for 2021 Season

Free Tax ServicesCodman’s earned income tax clinic (EITC), part of the Boston Tax Help Coalition, is open for the 2021 tax season! Community members who qualify can have their taxes completed and filed at no charge.

Due to COVID-19, there are no in-person services, but the clinic has created a simple way for community members to arrange to have their taxes completed.  Call 617-822-8182 and leave a message on the answering machine. A representative from the tax clinic will call back on a Monday or Tuesday evening between 4 and 8 pm and arrange a time for a drop-off appointment.

The tax clinic is fast, easy, and free, and your taxes are completed by IRS-certified tax preparers. The preparers are experts in maximizing refunds for people who qualify for the earned income tax credit, child tax credits, and health care tax credits.  Reserve your spot today!

 

Codman Starts Vaccinating Patients for COVID-19

patient gets vaccine

Codman patient and Mattapan resident Emma Rogers gets a COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 8.

Codman has started the process of vaccinating patients for COVID-19! Codman has spent the last 6 weeks vaccinating its workforce and other community members who are in phase 1 of the vaccine rollout. On Monday, Feb. 8, we started to immunize those patients 75 years and older. We reached out to those patients by phone and text message for appointments.

In spite of the snowy weather, we had many of our most senior patients come early Monday morning ready for their vaccines. One patient shared how much he misses his daily workouts at the YMCA, and another spoke about her recent recovery from COVID-19.

Since COVID-19 first became part of our consciousness in February and March of 2020, we have faced many challenges as a health center. We’ve had to close sections of the health center. We’ve had to convert many of our medical appointments to telehealth. We’ve implemented new and time-consuming safety, screening, and cleaning processes. We erected a screening tent in our parking lot, stood up off-site testing at nearby Russell Auditorium, and other sites, and adjusted staffing levels. The most challenging part of all of it is the concern we have for our patients. We worry about their health and wellbeing, and miss seeing them in the Health Center. This vaccine is taking us one step closer to being able to see our patients in person more and we are thrilled about that.

 

Dorchester Winter Farmers Market Goes Virtual – Starts January 7

Cell phone with vegetablesThe Dorchester Winter Farmers Market is happy to announce that community members can still get their local fresh fruits and vegetables and other items, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 market will be virtual, and the food will be delivered to your door!

Shoppers can click here for more information about the market. As in previous years, people shopping with SNAP benefits can earn money back on the fresh fruits and vegetables they purchase. Visit the website for more information, food availability lists, and recipes!