The physicians at Atlantic Digestive Specialists donate screening colonoscopies to eligible patients at Families First Health and Support Center in Portsmouth each spring during national colonoscopy awareness month.
Nurse Jane Cummings writes…
For the past three years, Atlantic Digestive Specialists has provided free colonoscopies for uninsured patients from Families First and other medical practices in the Seacoast area. Over 85 patients have been screened and received appropriate follow-up. Some have been diagnosed and referred for treatment. Portsmouth Regional Hospital donates the facility, and all laboratory fees are waived.
This occurs during three Saturdays during March, which is Colon Cancer Awareness month. The feedback from patients is extremely positive. They are given expert care and treated warmly and respectfully by all of the staff involved. They understand the benefit of screenings for colon cancer. Many have a family history and are advised to have screenings more frequently.
Dr. Epstein developed this program and oversees the entire medical process. Ana Drexler, RN, schedules the appointments and the nursing staffing at the Short Stay Unit. Janelle handles all the patient records. Everyone responds to my many questions with efficiency and good humor.
Most of us think of a colonoscopy as unpleasant and approach it with dread and fear. Our patients view it as a positive experience and appreciate the opportunity to receive a health screening that they are not able to afford. This is a great collaboration of the public and private sector resulting in preventive health services to the uninjured in the Seacoast community. It has been an honor for Families First to participate in this program
MT from Rochester writes…
It was a relief to have the colonoscopy done and know everything was ok. I was treated very well by everyone. The staff was amazing and relaxed me so I never worried. It would have been impossible for me to afford on my own. Thank you.
RH from Hampton writes…
All the staff and doctors were very nice to me. I do not have insurance so it really saved me a lot of money. I did not feel any pain. My father and grandfather died from colon cancer. I know I have to have more frequent procedures and am grateful to have this available for me.