Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines


In 2012, the way we screen for cervical cancer changed. There were new guidelines for PAP smear testing based on medical evidence, supported by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The new recommendations, which IHA providers agree with and follow, start with a PAP test at age 21, followed by PAP testing every three years between 21 and 30 (if you’re low-risk). Once you reach age 30, you’ll be tested every five years with a PAP test and high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test. As long as you’re low-risk, and the tests are normal, you’ll remain at the five-year interval for testing.

If you are high-risk (you have a history of abnormal PAP tests or have had prior cervical procedures), you may not fit in these recommendations. Your provider will discuss what the best screening frequency is for you based on your history.

In certain situations, a woman may no longer need PAP testing. Generally, if you’re over 65 and have had normal tests previously, you may no longer need PAP tests. You may also be exempt from PAP testing if you have had a certain kind of hysterectomy. You and your provider can discuss and decide if that is best for you based on your risk factors.

A PAP test is a safe way to screen for cervical cancer, with little to minor discomfort. Your provider will use a speculum and a soft brush to take a sample of your cervical cells. If your PAP test is abnormal, your provider will request you come back for additional testing.

If you have additional questions about what to expect, please talk to your provider.

Health Alert: Flour Recall

General Mills is voluntarily recalling Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme) due to possible E. coli O121 contamination. 

Sate and federal authorities have been researching 38 occurences of illnesses across 20 states related to a specific type of E. coli (E. coli O121), between December 21, 2015 and May 3, 2016. While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour (source). 

To date, there have been four confirmed cases in Michigan. Due to the long shelf life of flour, this outbreak could continue for an extended period of time. We urge you to take a look at the products in your cupboard and check UPCs and Better if Used By Dates. Information can be found here: General Mills Flour.

Please visit the CDC website for more information about E. coli O121. 

St. Joseph Mercy Academic OB/GYN Center Received March of Dimes Grant for CenteringPregnancy Model

St. Joseph Mercy Academic OB/GYN Center Receives March of Dimes Grant for CenteringPregnancy Model

6/1/2016 – IHA is pleased to announce the St. Joseph Mercy Academic OB/GYN Center is the recipient of a $15,600 March of Dimes grant to enable the practice to continue offering their CenteringPregnancy model, which increases positive health outcomes for mothers and babies.

The CenteringPregnancy model consists of prenatal care that integrates health assessment, education and support into a unified program within a group setting. Group sessions allow for more time to explore important health and wellness topics and women learn self-care skills and gain confidence to improve their health for themselves and their babies.

“CenteringPregnancy has been proven to reduce the risk of premature birth,” said Kara Hamilton-McGraw, Michigan March of Dimes Maternal Child Health Program Impact
Leader. “Premature birth is the #1 cause of neonatal death. March of Dimes is committed to working with agencies, like the St. Joseph Mercy Academic OB/GYN Center, that are using evidence-based interventions that will decrease the number of babies that are born too soon.”

IHA Obstetrician Gynecologist and Site Medical Director of the St. Joseph Mercy Academic OB/GYN Center Bryan Popp, MD, is thrilled to receive the March of Dimes grant. “CenteringPregnancy is an exciting opportunity for us to provide group prenatal care for our patients. Centering allows expecting mothers to have increased face-to-face time with the obstetrician, more hours of prenatal education, and the ability to form a support system with other moms,” states Dr. Popp. “National studies have shown a decrease in preterm birth rates, increased breastfeeding rates and increased rates of post-partum follow-up. Both our patients and doctors believe our first year of Centering has been a great success. We look forward to starting our second year of CenteringPregnancy.”

IHA is one of the best and largest multi-specialty groups in Michigan. IHA employs more than 1,600 staff members, which includes more than 520 providers consisting of: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives in approximately 60 practice locations across Southeast Michigan. IHA provides high-quality medical care and excellent service to nearly 410,000 active patients. Recognized as Metro Detroit’s Top Physician Group by Consumer Reports magazine, IHA also ranks in the top quartile for patient satisfaction nationally. Offering extended office hours, Urgent Care, and access to clinical research studies, IHA demonstrates that it cares by bringing safe, high-quality, comprehensive and affordable care to its patients. For more information about IHA, visit www.ihacares.com.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes Foundation, formerly The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, to address the rise of polio. In 1958, the foundation changed its mission to birth defect prevention to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth. The March of Dimes Foundation’s national office is located in White Plains, NY, with local chapters in 51 states. The March of Dimes Michigan
Chapter funds programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. For more information, visit www.marchofdimes.org/Michigan.

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. Combined, the five hospitals are licensed for 1,553 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 13,400 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $1.9 billion and returns about $120 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.
For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.stjoeshealth.org.