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Release Date: 06/23/2015

Christy Dibble, DO, director of Women & Infants' Center for Women's Gastrointestinal Health and assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, has received the Dr. Joseph DiMase Memorial Healthcare Professional Award from the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, Rhode Island Department of Health.

Dr. Dibble received the award for her work as physician-chair of the Rhode Island Screening and Detection Workgroup of the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, part of Rhode Island's Cancer Control Plan. The focus of the workgroup, on which Dr. Dibble has been chair since 2005, is reducing colorectal cancer and eliminating disparities in screening and detection in Rhode Island. This award is to recognize a state's comprehensive cancer control coalition that has successfully achieved evidence-based and measurable impact in projects and/or interventions.

The Detection and Screening workgroup, under Dr. Dibble's direction, has served as a springboard for statewide and regional collaboration aimed at decreasing the burden of colorectal cancer for all Rhode Islanders. To this end, the workgroup supported the Screening Colonoscopies for the Underserved Program (SCUP) to address the critical issue of screening for the un- and underinsured. The SCUP program served as a vital pilot program for the state, aiming to improve eligibility for future favorable federal grant funding for colorectal cancer screening programs. Through SCUP, Partnership members gave their time to provide training and support to patient navigators at community health centers.

More than 250 colonoscopies have been performed through SCUP, including pathology and follow-up. Screenings are performed by more than 60 volunteer surgeons who provide the screenings to patients at sites either in or close to their own communities. As a result of this initiative, data for the rate of adenomatous polyps discovered, cancer detected, and polyps removed has increased significantly. This initiative has also resulted in an increase in the number of Hispanics served.

Dr. Joseph DiMase, founder of SCUP, passed away of leukemia in April 2012. Because of his vision for SCUP, the program served hundreds of uninsured Rhode Islanders, ultimately saving lives, and will continue to screen those at risk for colorectal cancer. It is because of his extraordinary efforts that the Partnership created the Dr. Joseph DiMase Memorial Healthcare Professional Award to honor those health care professionals who go above and beyond to support the mission of the partnership.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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