VTAAC Winter 2016-2017 Update
This is the 41st edition of VTAAC's quarterly newsletter.  This update is provided in order to share VTAAC news and resources, provide information on the progress of our current Vermont Cancer Plan, communicate meetings, events, and projects, and enhance statewide collaboration.  For additional information or meeting details, please contact VTAAC Coordinator, Jessica French, at Jessica.French@cancer.org

This quarter's newsletter addresses the following topics:
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Callback Mammograms and the Impact of Coding on Breast CallbackCancer Screening Patients

On December 21, 2016 individuals from VTAAC, ACS CAN, and other hospitals and organizations around the state met to discuss legislation passed in 2013 and its current impact on breast cancer screening patients. "No. 25. An Act related to cost-sharing for preventive services" is an amendment to the bill, H.136, enacted by the State of Vermont in 2013. 
The bill prohibits insurers from requiring cost-sharing for mammograms and/or colorectal cancer screenings. Preventive screenings and all services related to that screening are to be at no cost to the patient. However, an issue has arisen related to the coding of these exams, specifically the use of "screening" versus "diagnostic" codes.  The group is working to engage facilities and programs statewide about appropriate coding, billing, and how to inform patients of the law.
As stated in H.136, '"Screening'" includes the mammography test procedure and a qualified physician's interpretation of the results of the procedure, including additional views and interpretation as needed."
Many VTAAC partners joined the call Wednesday morning to discuss this legislation and how to ensure compliance statewide.  Work is ongoing and the group will meet again in early 2017.

Statewide Assessment of Lung Cancer Screening  Planned for statewideEarly 2017
The VTAAC Lung Cancer Screening Task Force met on December 12 to discuss the development of a survey to assess lung cancer screening statewide, as well as the creation of a resource page for providers and patients. The survey is based off assessments completed in Massachusetts and North Carolina and is set to go out early 2017.
Dr. Veronika Jedlovskzky, who specializes in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, and sleep medicine, is chair of the task force. Rebecca Ryan, Senior Director of Health and Public Policy from the American Lung Association, is coordinating work and meeting facilitation, and Ali Johnson, Cancer Registry Chief at the Vermont Department of Health, recently joined the team to help with survey development.
The 2016-2020 Vermont Cancer Plan includes objectives and strategies to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Vermont.  Objectives address both decreasing the prevalence of smoking among Vermonters as well as increasing the use of lung cancer screening among high risk current and former smokers.  See below for a snapshot of the Lung Cancer section of the Plan.

For more on lung cancer in Vermont, check out the Vermont Cancer Incidence Maps and Data page on the Department of Health website.

Members Meet Around Survivorship Care Plan Standards and membersTimeline

A subgroup of VTAAC's Quality of Life Workgroup and others from Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) and University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) met on November 22nd at CVMC. Dr. Ed Ziedins, general surgeon at CVMC and Chair of the Commission on Cancer in Vermont, facilitated the meeting with assistance from Dr. Daniel Fram, VTAAC's new Co-Chair and Director of the National Life Cancer Treatment Center.
The group discussed the status of survivorship care plan development and dissemination efforts at UVMMC and CVMC, available resources and reporting, among other topics. Strategies and next steps include working with cancer registrars to determine the feasibility of tracking of plans, and exploring "pathways" to survivorship care plans specific to type of cancer, treatment, and other differences in care.
VTAAC is also working to engage the creators of survivorship care plans at facilities statewide for an informal discussion of the survivorship care plan process and how we can improve it. If you would like to be involved, please contact Coordinator, Jessica French at Jessica.French@cancer.org .

Click to read more from Vermont Cancer Plan 2020: A Framework for Action

The Vermont Department of Health is Seeking Qualified vdhCandidates for a Public Health Analyst

The Public Health Analyst position is responsible for analyzing data related to two departmental programs: Comprehensive Cancer Control and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and is located in the Cancer Registry, within the Public Health Statistics section of the VT Department of Health in Burlington. The Cancer Analyst position conducts research, statistical and program evaluation work at a professional level, involving complex epidemiological analyses. Duties include selection of methodology, database development, data analysis, performance measure monitoring, and report preparation.  This position also supports the modernization of Vermont's Vital Records, by assisting in the epidemiologic review of mortality data throughout the conversion from paper to electronic records.
If you would like to learn more about this position, please visit the full posting on the State of Vermont Careers website: http://humanresources.vermont.gov/careers and look for position Public Health Analyst III (620584) or Public Health Analyst II (620592).  The deadline for applications is January 19, 2017. 

Understanding and Enhancing VTAAC Collaboration Using the understandingPARTNER Tool from UC Denver

Created in 2007 with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships) has been used in over 750 communities to help enhance social network collaboration. Currently, a subgroup of the VTAAC Evaluation Committee is reviewing the results of the survey that was provided to 15 key coalition partners between September and October 2016. Early reports will be shared with the Steering Committee at the next meeting in January, with additional information provided to the general membership at the Annual Meeting in April.
Click to read more about PARTNER Tool 
other  Other Task Force and Group Updates

Evaluation Committee

The VTAAC Evaluation Committee met on November 14, 2016. Sharon Mallory, acting as Chair of this Committee while the Comprehensive Cancer Control Analyst position is vacant, led the group in discussing the 2016 Evaluation Action Plan, 2017 Evaluation Planning Matrix, the PARTNER Tool survey, and an ongoing evaluation of Kindred Connections. The group will meet again on January 17 to discuss the process for sharing the findings from the Kindred Connections evaluation, among other projects.
Membership Committee

VTAAC's Membership Committee is planning to reconvene in early 2017. Coordinator Jessica French will be polling current members on a meeting date. Key topics of discussion this session will include the results of the Evaluation Committee's PARTNER Tool survey, the development of a member questionnaire to track Vermont Cancer Plan progress, and general discussion of the status of membership and efforts to enhance the network. Please contact Jessica French at Jessica.French@cancer.org , if you would like to learn more.

Cancer Epidemiology Team
The Cancer Epidemiology team meets at the beginning of each month at the Vermont Department of Health. Representatives from the Vermont Cancer Registry, Ladies First, VTAAC, the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Department of Vermont Health Access, and the Burlington District Office join the session to discuss ways in which each program can support one another in addressing their cancer specific priorities.
Of discussion at the last meeting was the ongoing Vermont Department of Health website update, Healthy Vermonters 2020 measures, the impact of the new HPV guidelines, DP12-1205 innovation funding, as well as Survivorship Care Plans and collaborations with the Vermont Cancer Registry.
Quality of Life Workgroup
This workgroup will be meeting again early in the new year to discuss efforts around survivorship care plans, Stowe Weekend of Hope, and more.  The Vermont Cancer Survivor Network has also made great strides in the development of a survivor resources page, and the VTAAC Steering Committee will have an opportunity to preview the page at the annual retreat in January.
Survivorship Care Plan Task Force
Please see the segment above, Members Meet Around Survivorship Care Plan Standards and Timeline for information on this work.
Additional QoL Resources (click below)
Prevention & Detection Workgroup
Colorectal Cancer Screening Task Force
The group met on December 20, 2016 to review 2016 projects, discussing the Rutland Colorectal Cancer AIM project, National Cancer Institute's Screen to Save initiative, and colorectal cancer awareness month. Other projects this year have included trainings for practice facilitators, medical directors, and mental health services case managers, as well as the promotion of the 80% by 2018 Pledge. For additional information on 80% by 2018 and to take the pledge visit the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable here: http://nccrt.org/tools/80-percent-by-2018/80-percent-by-2018-pledge/ .
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! We are brainstorming how we can enhance awareness and support our provider and patient community in 2017. If you are not already involved in this task force but would like to be, please contact Jessica.French@cancer.org .
Skin Cancer Screening Task Force
This task force will be meeting again on February 2, 2017 to discuss several sun safety initiatives, including ongoing efforts to engage ski areas this winter in the promotion of safe sun practices.   If you are not already involved in this task force but would like to be, please contact Sharon.Mallory@vermont.gov .
Ongoing HPV Work HPV
Several VTAAC partners are focusing their work on HPV following the release of the new two dose guidelines for youth under age 15, and a growing awareness of HPV-associated cancers. The following recommendations were approved by the CDC: 1) Adolescents aged 9-14 years who get vaccinated before the age of 15 will only need two doses of the HPV vaccine and 2) teens and young adults who start the vaccine series at age 15 through age 26 will continue to need three doses.
Communications specific to the new guidelines are in development. Chris Finley and her team at the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Program will be releasing a data brief on the HPV vaccine and new recommendation shortly. The brief includes information on vaccine rates in each county, and discusses the impact of the new guidelines.
Read more about the new recommendation for adolescents from the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p1020-hpv-shots.html
The CDC also produces a great resource available for families interested in learning about HPV vaccines. "What Parents Should Know About HPV Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness" can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/vaccines/vaccine-safety.pdf 

Upcoming Meetings and Events meetings

Cancer Epidemiology Team Meeting, January 3, 2017 from 2:30pm - 4:00pm
VTAAC Joint Payer Task Force Meeting, January 10, 2017 from 1:30pm - 2:30pm
VTAAC Evaluation Committee Meeting, January 17, 2017 from 3:00pm - 4:30pm
VTAAC Steering Committee Retreat, January 20, 2017 from 9:00am - 3:00pm
VTAAC Skin Cancer Task Force Meeting, February 2 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm
VTAAC Prevention & Detection Workgroup Meeting, February 9 from 10:30am - 12:00pm
Cancer Awareness Calendar
Cervical Health Awareness Month
National Cancer Prevention Month

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Myeloma Awareness Month

Kidney Cancer Awareness Month 


National Cancer Control Month

Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month



Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Oncology Nursing Month

National Cancer Research Month 


Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month

National Cancer Survivors Day 


Sarcoma Awareness Month 

World Cancer Support Month

Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month 


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Liver Cancer Awareness Month 


Family Caregivers Month

Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Marrow Awareness Month

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Stomach Cancer Awareness Month 

Happiest of Holidays! 
A friendly reminder for this and every season...
Outside of tobacco use, factors such as physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and body weight can have an impact on cancer risk. 
As we all come together joyfully, let's take a moment to think about what we can do to keep our health happy too.