Sage Advice Newsletter - Spring 2022

Sage - Minnesotas Cancer Screening Program

Sage Advice Newsletter 

Spring 2022

Hello Spring & pink tulips
Lady with a megaphone


Sage New Webinar Series 

Sage kicked off the first of the Sage Webinar Series on March 15, 2022 with an overview of the Sage Program, insight on the future direction of Sage Programs, and an enthusiastic message from Dr. Richard Zera, a strong supporter of the Sage Program. We were delighted to have over 200 people join us in this series launch! This webinar helped us gather information on what you, our audience, would like to hear about in future webinars.
The next of the webinar series is scheduled for May 17, 2022 from 12:30 to 1:30 and will highlight Sage paperwork and billing. 

Webinar invitations have been sent via WebEx (Cisco). 

Sage Webinar Recording – March 15, 2022

megaphone with the caption "important message"

Claim Submission Deadline: 8/12/22

Sage’s current funding cycle with CDC is coming to an end on 6/30/22. This means that all claims and related patient forms for dates of service 7/1/21 to 6/30/22 must be received by 8/12/22 to ensure payment.  Please contact Sage Billing (651-201-5630 or if you have questions about this deadline. 

We anticipate receiving funding for a new 5-year cycle; however, we do not know the level of funding at this time. As we get closer to 6/30/22, please watch for Sage updates regarding any potential changes in program eligibility for the next funding year.

835 File Reconciliation

We want to know if your team is having problems using Sage’s 835 remittance file to reconcile payments. Sage would like to eliminate sending paper remittances and we need your feedback to make sure our 835 file is working for you. Please contact Sage Billing if you are having any problems with our file.

Sage Billing: or 651-201-5630

Sage Programs is retiring the program name “Sage Scopes”

Sage Scopes, Minnesota’s program that covered the costs of colorectal cancer screening services for individuals 50 and older ended in June 2020. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no longer funds Sage Scopes to provide direct colorectal cancer screening services. CDC now funds the state’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (MNCRCCP) to work with partner clinics to facilitate and support changes to clinic operations that improve cancer screening rates. MNCRCCP coordinates these activities with Sage, the state’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, to partner with clinics serving priority populations to implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs) shown to be effective in increasing breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening rates.

Komen Minnesota Race for the Cure® 

Minnesota is celebrating its 30th year of making an impact through the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. The Race for the Cure® brings survivors, families, and friends together to celebrate survivors, create breast health awareness, and honor those we have lost to breast cancer. You can participate in this year’s race on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8.

For more information and to register for the event visit: 

2022 Komen Minnesota Race for the Cure

The American Indian Cancer Foundation Cancer Support Circle

The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) offers a virtual Cancer Support Circle where Indigenous community members from across Indian Country who are living with cancer are brought together to connect and receive support. This Support Circle is open to Native cancer survivors. Survivors can be diagnosed community members, caregivers, and/or other intimately impacted loved ones, such as a child, other dependents, or a relative close to the person diagnosed. This Support Circle is offered through Zoom and also has an option for participants to call in if they are unavailable and/or not interested in being on camera. 

Those interested can register today at: or can contact AICAF Cancer Programs Project Manager, Misha LaPlante, at with questions. 


Danielle and her dog

Sage made a lifesaving difference for Danielle 

Throughout our lifetime we experience different seasons, some of which test our resiliency. For Danielle Crowell, the last few months of 2021 were a whirlwind of a journey. With a recent cervical cancer diagnosis, Danielle has a compelling story and a powerful message to share. Her hope is that her story will encourage others to keep up to date on health screenings.

Danielle's full story can be read on the Sage website: Danielle's Story 

Person holding a heart shaped ball

Heart Health Month 2022


February is Heart Health Month. To increase cardiovascular awareness in our community, SagePlus (a cardiovascular health program) participated in a variety of heart health promotion activities. 

SagePlus partnered with two Twin Cities radio stations in February to discuss the importance of cardiovascular screening, specifically in the African American and Native American populations.  Kristen Tharaldson, SagePlus Program Coordinator and Lindsey Petras, RN from the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) were interviewed by Roy Taylor on 90.3 KFAI Fresh Air Radio. Additionally, Benita Robinson, SagePlus Patient Navigator, was interviewed by Sara Hollie on Know Your Options on 89.9 KMOJ FM. Both interviews focused on reducing risk factors, including smoking, obesity and stress which can all  lead to heart health issues, emphasizing how prevention can ultimately be the key in encouraging a heart healthy lifestyle.

SagePlus also worked with their clinic partners to promote Heart Health Month. Information such as SagePlus brochures, Heart Health Trivia Questions, Ask Me Why I Wear Red Stickers and prevention materials from the American Heart Association were distributed to clinics.  Clinic staff were also encouraged to wear red to increase awareness and promote heart healthy choices within the community. Thank you to all of our partners who proudly wore red!

Below are links to Heart Health data in Minnesota: 

Photo of the outside of open door clinic

Sage Clinic Spotlight:
Open Door Clinic - Mankato, MN 


With over 450 Sage clinic sites across the state, it is with great enthusiasm that Sage is starting a new Clinic Spotlight newsletter segment. We are very grateful to all Sage clinic partners, and  appreciate the life-saving impact they have on  Minnesota communities. 

Open Door Health Center, one of Minnesota’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), has been serving patients in Mankato and surrounding area for more than 28 years, providing service to a large and diverse population of individuals who can’t afford health care. Over the years, Open Door Health Center has increased its reach by adding dental and mental health services. In 2021 alone, Open Door served over 7,000 individuals, providing over 3,200 medical office visits to more than 2,000 individuals.

The mission of Open Door: “To increase access to affordable qualify health services” aligns well with the Sage goal “To keep Minnesotans healthy through screening and early detection of breast and cervical cancer”. With similar aspirations to serve the underserved women of Minnesota, Open Door Health Center became an early partner of Sage. Since the first woman was enrolled in Sage in 1995, this clinic has enrolled an amazing 1,798 unique women, and completed 5,207 Sage office visits. As a result of these visits, many lives have been positively impacted.: 26 women have been diagnosed with breast cancer, 2 with cervical cancer and 15 with precancerous cervical lesions.

Since 1998, Lisa Proehl has been the primary Sage contact and has touched the lives of many women. Lisa enrolls women in Sage and ensures those with abnormal screening results get connected to life-saving resources for diagnostics and cancer treatment. Over the years Lisa has worked with many uninsured women who reported they would not have sought care were it not for Open Door Health Center and the Sage Program.

Lisa tells about Maria, a 42-year-old uninsured woman, who came to Open Door with significant breast pain in December 2021. Maria reported to her provider at Open Door that she’d had her symptoms for 3 years and had previously seen a provider who told her there was no cause for concern. As her symptoms progressed to the point that the pain was waking her up nightly, and her nipple was retracting, she again sought care, this time through Open Door Health Center. Maria was very concerned with how she would pay for her care.  Lisa enrolled Maria in Sage and assured her all the screening and diagnostic services would be covered, and if a cancer were detected, she would be provided with coverage through the MA/BC treatment program. Maria was indeed diagnosed with breast cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy since her diagnosis. Maria is getting the care that she needs through our strong partnership!

Sage celebrates Open Door for their work with the Sage Program and with the residents of southern Minnesota!

Webinar: Increasing Cervical Screening

American Cancer Society Logo

Screening tests can catch cervical cancer early when it is easier to treat, and find pre-cancers before they turn into invasive cancer. 

Unfortunately many patients delayed routine care due to the pandemic.  Many practices have noticed that screening rates have not rebounded to historic levels. On May 11, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST, the American Cancer Society, in partnership with the South Country Health Alliance will be hosting a FREE webinar.
Participants will learn about best and promising practices to get patients back on track.

Increasing Cervical Screening webinar Registration Link