HNHB News

New ‘Screen for Life Workplace Program’ brings cancer screening to Hamilton workplaces

Coach bus to offer on-site cancer screening to mid-to-large-size companies.
Smaller businesses offered support promoting cancer screening to employees.

Click here to inquire about booking the coach today!

HAMILTON, ON (Jan. 13, 2017)


CHCH Morning Live Segment with Dr. Megan Davis

 

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program is offering Hamilton businesses a new way to help employees stay healthy. Starting today, Hamilton companies can bring free cancer screening services to men and women in the workplace through the Screen for Life Workplace Program. This program is aimed at employees who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, and/or those who face transportation, cultural, or other personal barriers to participating in screening with their regular healthcare provider.

While work schedules and lack of time can also be barriers to screening, we encourage people to see their family doctor/nurse practitioner as the very best option. Several Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) locations also offer breast screening during evenings and weekends. However, where people still face barriers based on time and work schedules, the Coach may be a helpful solution.

Mid-to-large-size companies may qualify for a visit by the Screen for Life Mobile Coach, a 45-foot-long bus offering on-site cancer screening. Eligibility for screening is based on age, gender, and personal and family health histories. The Screen for Life Mobile Coach is staffed by a team of Regional Cancer Program registered nurses, medical radiation technologists and a booking clerk, and can be easily parked in most company lots.Everyone visiting the Screen for Life Mobile Coach will meet with a registered nurse who will take a brief health history to determine what cancer screening tests are right for them. The registered nurse can distribute an easy take-home test through the province’s ColonCancerCheck program that screens for early signs of colon cancer, a highly treatable disease when caught early. It’s recommended that men and women, ages 50 to 74, with no symptoms or family history, take this test every two years as part of their routine medical care.

Everyone visiting the Screen for Life Mobile Coach will meet with a registered nurse who will take a brief health history to determine what cancer screening tests are right for them. The registered nurse can distribute an easy take-home test through the province’s ColonCancerCheck program that screens for early signs of colon cancer, a highly treatable disease when caught early. It’s recommended that men and women, ages 50 to 74, with no symptoms or family history, take this test every two years as part of their routine medical care.

Mammograms are available for women ages 50 to 74 with no signs of breast cancer and Pap tests for women ages 21 to 69 through the Ontario Breast Screening Program and Ontario Cervical Screening Program. The Screen for Life Mobile Coach features a state-of-the-art digital mammography suite, private exam room, sitting area and wheelchair accessibility. Services also include smoking cessation referral for screening-age clients.

“I would encourage men and women who face barriers to screening to take advantage of the Coach’s potentially lifesaving services,” says Dr. Ralph Meyer, Vice President of Oncology and Palliative Care for Hamilton Health Sciences and Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario. “Thousands of men and women in Ontario are alive and healthy today because they got screened and were able to either prevent cancer or find it early.”The Screen for Life Workplace Program also offers support to companies that may not qualify for a visit by the Screen for Life Mobile Coach, such as smaller companies or companies with lower numbers of screening-age employees. For these businesses, the Workplace Program can provide resources and information including the Coach’s monthly schedule, Ontario Breast Screening Program locations, and information on how to participate in cervical screening and how to obtain an FOBT kit to screen for signs of colon cancer. The Regional Cancer Program’s promotions team also welcomes the opportunity to provide educational workshops

The Screen for Life Workplace Program also offers support to companies that may not qualify for a visit by the Screen for Life Mobile Coach, such as smaller companies or companies with lower numbers of screening-age employees. For these businesses, the Workplace Program can provide resources and information including the Coach’s monthly schedule, Ontario Breast Screening Program locations, and information on how to participate in cervical screening and how to obtain an FOBT kit to screen for signs of colon cancer. The Regional Cancer Program’s promotions team also welcomes the opportunity to provide educational workshops at local businesses and/or participate in wellness fairs.

“Healthy workplaces have many benefits including improved productivity, lower health benefit costs, less absenteeism and fewer illnesses,” says Dr. Meyer. “The Regional Cancer Program encourages cancer screening as part of people’s routine medical care since screening can catch cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and beat.”

The Screen for Life Mobile Coach’s mandate is to improve access to cancer screening services for those facing barriers such as language, transportation and socio-economic challenges. It has been operating in Hamilton neighbourhoods with low cancer screening rates since 2014 and also visits Six Nations and New Credit reserves. Plans are underway to expand programming into the Niagara region in early 2017.

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Hamilton businesses interested in the Screen for Life Workplace Program can contact:

Britney Martin
Acting Supervisor, Screen for Life Mobile Coach/Screen for Life Workplace Program
Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program
Phone: 905-521-2100, ext. 79302
Email: martinbrit@hhsc.ca
hnhbscreenforlife.ca

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