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Shawnee Health Receives FOCUS Grant

June 13, 2023

Shawnee Health has announced it received a grant funding from Exact Sciences, a leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, to increase access and improve colorectal cancer screenings and follow-up care for those in our Southern Illinois community.

With the newly funded grant money, Shawnee Health plans to address screening disparities in age, race, and ethnicity. “Although our screening rate is significantly higher than the most recent published state and national averages for FQHC’s (U.S. and Illinois rates were both 42% in 2021 for patients age 50-75), we are strongly committed to improving it further.”

The grant was made possible through Exact Sciences’ Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS) Program, which provides funding to community organizations, health foundations, public health organizations, and advocacy groups working to increase access to CRC screening and reduce barriers to follow-up colonoscopy. Exact Sciences developed Cologuard®, the first and only FDA-approved, noninvasive, multi-target, stool-based DNA screening test that people can use at home.

 “Shawnee Health is honored to have received this grant,” said Patsy Jensen, CEO. “We recognize the importance of early screening and detection for colorectal cancer, as well as the barriers and inequities that currently exist. This grant will help us reduce those barriers and improve screening within our community.”

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet approximately 60 million average at-risk Americans remain unscreened1,” said Paul Limburg, Chief Medical Officer, Screening, at Exact Sciences. “Exact Sciences is proud to support Shawnee Health, which is doing valuable work to increase awareness of colorectal cancer, drive an uptake in screenings, and improve health equity in its community.

About Shawnee Health

Since its inception in 1971, Shawnee Health, as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) has worked to improve the health and welfare of southern Illinois residents through the promotion, development and administration of quality, comprehensive health and social services. Shawnee Health believes that quality care is a right, and continuously strives to ensure that patients and clients receive the highest quality care without regard to age, race, religion, sex, residence, or ability to pay.

About Exact Sciences Corp.

A leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, Exact Sciences gives patients and health care professionals the clarity needed to take life-changing action earlier. Building on the success of the Cologuard® and Oncotype® tests, Exact Sciences is investing in its pipeline to develop innovative solutions for use before, during, and after a cancer diagnosis. For more information, visit, follow Exact Sciences on Twitter @ExactSciences, or find Exact Sciences on LinkedIn and Facebook.

NOTE: Oncotype, Oncotype DX, Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score, Oncotype DX Breast DCIS Score and Recurrence Score are trademarks or registered trademarks of Genomic Health, Inc. Exact Sciences and Cologuard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Exact Sciences Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

About the FOCUS Program

Launched in June 2022, Exact Sciences’ Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS) Program provides grant funding to community organizations, health foundations, public health organizations, and advocacy groups to expand access to colorectal cancer screening and create affordable pathways to follow-up diagnostic care. FOCUS reflects Exact Sciences’ ongoing commitment to meet people where they are and offer solutions to overcome barriers to care, regardless of a patient’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. Submissions are reviewed via Exact Sciences’ corporate grants process, which is fully independent from sales and marketing activities. Funding decisions are based solely on the strength of the application and alignment with FOCUS Program objectives, without regard to any actual or potential commercial relationships with potential grantees. Learn more information about the FOCUS Program here.


  1. Exact Sciences’ estimate assumes 50% screening rate for Americans ages 50-85 and 10% screening rate for ages 45-49. Fisher D, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2022;40(4 suppl):65. doi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.4_suppl.065
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