PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Avera St. Mary’s Foundation held its annual gala Friday with this year’s event geared toward helping people pay for screening colonoscopies. The foundation pledged up to $50,000 of money it raised Friday to pay up to $500 in out-of-pocket expenses for those who schedule their screening before the end of this month. The Foundation says one in 20 people will have colon cancer and early detection helps save lives. Ellen Lee, Vice President of Avera St. Mary’s Foundation, says the goal for Friday’s gala was to raise enough to be able to pay out-of pocket expenses for screenings for at least 100 people.
Lee says the screening is only done periodically and the procedure has improved over time.
The screenings can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Lee says those who would like to take part in the screening colonoscopy program can call Avera Medical Group Pierre for an appointment at 945-5202.
Some insurance companies require pre-authorization of the procedure. March is being noted as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The theme Friday was “Welcome to the Emerald City” and in 2015, organizers plan for the theme of the annual fundraiser to be “Hues of Hope”.