Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program

The Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program is a joint venture between local health departments as the fiscal agent, the regional office of the Kentucky Cancer Program and local primary care clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, free clinics or other agencies, organization, associations or coalitions which serve the program’s target population and agree to work together to provide the required screenings.

The Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program is a population-based, public health initiative consisting of a network of state, regional and local health professionals whose mission is to reduce the incidence of colon cancer as well as the disability and death associated with colon cancer. The program, administered by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, is providing the colon cancer screenings to a targeted population of low-income, uninsured Kentuckians between the ages of 50-64 in ten regions across the state encompassing thirty-six counties. To be eligible for the program, a participant must be uninsured and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. The participant must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien, and a Kentucky resident. Participants must be 50-64 years old, African Americans age 45-64, and people under 50 may qualify if certain high risk conditions/factors exist.

The map below illustrates the ten sites and partnering counties.

As part of the screening, members of this group who are at average risk for colon cancer are being screened with a simple, low-cost stool test while those who are at higher risk are being screened with a colonoscopy.

The Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program is in the process of screening uninsured Kentuckians through June 30, 2016. To date, the program has screened some 900 Kentuckians for colon cancer. Twenty–five percent of those who had colonoscopies were found to have pre-cancerous polyps that were removed to prevent the development of cancer.

The Colon Cancer Prevention Project and the Kentucky Department for Public Health worked together to collect stories from people across Kentucky who have been screened in 2013 through the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program. Here are some of their stories and how the screening impacted them:

“If I hadn’t been able to get this screening then I still would not have had a colonoscopy and the polyps that were in there would still be doing what they do. I would probably be just like my dad and not knowing about it for another ten years. (Now) I know I don’t have this little time bomb in me.”
— Brian Stricklin, Fayette County, whose father had colon cancer
“This program saved my life.”
— Patricia Holtman, Jessamine County, who was screened and had a pre-cancerous polyp
“The program to me is very important. If it can the life of one person like my mom then it is worth it. We live a county here in Eastern Kentucky where we don’t think people care about us…we are just a part of these hills. But this program, when I come into the health department and I talk to Shirley and she says we got this program for you. I believe Shirley cares about me. She really does.”
— Linda Williamson, Lawrence County
“We are making a difference and this program is making a difference. We are seeing a decrease in the amount of colorectal cancer in the state of Kentucky. We are seeing an improvement in overall healthcare because one patients agree to come in and have a good experience then they are more likely to be willing to undergo further testing if needed or at least establish a patient, physician relationship.”
— Jeff Riggs, MD, Christian County

To hear more stories of people who have been impacted by the program watch the video here:

Participating Health Departments
Services are available to eligible people through June 2014, as funding permits. For more information about this program, call one of the following participating health departments:


  • Barren River District (270) 781-8039 ext. 157
  • Calloway County (270) 753-3381
  • Christian County (270) 887-4160
  • Lexington – Fayette County (859) 309-1700 or (877) 597-4655
  • Floyd County (606) 886-2788
  • Greenup County (606) 473-9838
  • Jessamine County (859) 885-4149
  • Lake Cumberland District (606) 678-4761 ext. 1140
  • Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness  (502) 574-6520
  • Pike County (606) 509-5504 or (606) 437-5500


For More Information
To learn more about the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program and other cancer resources in your community, contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at (877) 326-1134 or