On March 11, 2015, a dozen community influencers joined Dr. Phillip Bowden, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, and staff members of the Mid-South Gastroenterology Group to celebrate the announcement of Bowden’s 100% By 2020 Campaign.
The new campaign is a collaboration between Bowden, the city of Memphis, local health organizations, and small businesses, with the goal to encourage 100% of qualifying Memphians to get a colonoscopy screening by 2020. According to the most recent health statistics, Memphis has one of the lowest rates of colon cancer screenings and one of the highest rates of colon cancer deaths in the nation. Considering that 90% of advanced-stage colon cancer diagnoses can be prevented with a simple colonoscopy, Bowden said that something must be done.
“This campaign is about 100% inclusion. Regardlessof if you’re in North Memphis, South Memphis, Hickory Hill, or Downtown, this message will reach you,” Bowden told a small gathering in his East Memphis office. “We’re going beyond the conversation. We need our Memphians to know the current screening guidelines and then act on that knowledge.” Mayor A C Wharton, a patient at the Mid-South Gastroenterology Group, agreed with Bowden. “We don’t talk about colon cancer enough. People want to avoid the topic,” Wharton said. “Sometimes people even act embarrassed at the thought of getting a colonoscopy. Let me tell you something, I’d rather be embarrassed than dead.”
During the media event, Bowden committed to raising money for the organizations that are already doing the work on the ground, as well as working with area gastroenterologists to share data and ensure all Memphians are served.