Penn Medicine

Past Projects

Colorectal Cancer Screening

2019 Class



Colorectal cancer is preventable, if appropriate screening takes place. Simply, if we screen more patients, we will find more precancerous polyps that can be removed. Current estimates are that 30% of men and 20% of women who have never been screened for CRC have precancerous polyps. An effective colonoscopy with biopsy can save a patient 90% of what it would cost to treat a cancer in the earliest stages.  Lancaster General Health Physicians is currently screening 72.8 % of eligible patients. LGHP has over 67,000 patients that qualify for CRC screening, meaning that nearly 20,000 patients have not been screened. This project seeks to test all the assumptions for why patients hesitate to get screened. By remotely educating, engaging and navigating patients for CRC screening before and after primary care visits, the clinical team will better understand and be able to overcome patients’ hesitation to screening.  This knowledge, in turn, will increase the total percentage of patients who complete this screening.

Project Champion:
Dr. Brian Young, Medical Director Transformation & Primary Care


Symptom Assessment Management

2019 Class



Cancer patients fight to survive both their disease and the side effects of treating it. In the turmoil of such uncertainty and physical and emotional challenges, patients often hold back from disclosing significant treatment side effects for fear that clinicians will alter or stop therapy. When combined with clinicians underestimating symptom severity, these factors not only contribute to lower quality of life for patients, they can also drive increased health care expenditure through potentially unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations. This project aims to engage, educate, and guide high-risk patients to take charge of their health. The creation of Symptom Assessment Management (SAM) in Oncology will significantly improve the clinical team’s ability to communicate with patients, control symptoms, reduce hospitalizations, and improve quality of life.

Project Champions:
Amy Jo Pixley, MSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG (T) Nurse Navigator, Oncology Clinical Support & Nicole Mills, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, Nurse Navigator, Oncology Clinical Support


Hypertension Control

2021 Class

BP Pal


Hypertension-related diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are prominent in our community. In fact, heart attack is the #1 cause of death in Lancaster County. Stroke is close behind at #4. Cardiovascular-related deaths are driven largely by these modifiable risk factors. Hypertension is the most common risk factor, present in 46% of American adults. At LGH, the adult managed lives population is about 182,000 patients, 71,000 of whom have hypertension. Thirty percent of our hypertensive patients are uncontrolled, meaning their blood pressure is above 140/90. This means there are 21,000 patients who are at increased risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke simply due to their uncontrolled hypertension. This project’s goal is to create a better engagement strategy for patients at home so they can participate in the management of their hypertension rather than rely on the health care provider to make decisions for them.

Project Champions:
Zachary Bricker, MSN, RN, Manager Clinical Quality & Michael Bredin, PA Urgent Care