CCHD Employee Recognized for Cancer Control Efforts

The National Colon Cancer Alliance named Penny Paul, CCHD Community Health Education Specialist, their Hero of the Month for December 2013.  Penny earned this award for all of the excellent work she has done to promote colon cancer prevention and screening in our community. Penny was recognized specifically for her involvement in and promotion of National Dress in Blue Day, an annual event promoting colon cancer awareness.

Penny’s mentoring of local worksites is one of her main avenues of promoting colon cancer awareness. Great Falls Public Works and the Great Falls Police Department are two of her most involved sites. With Penny’s encouragement and support, these sites began several of their own activities for Dress in Blue Day, including posting flyers and wearing awareness ribbons. Most importantly, screening rates at those particular sites increased by 25%!

Penny is very passionate about wellness and prevention, and she has found that employees appreciate cancer prevention education. She reports that employees may not be ready to hear about physical activity and nutrition, but most can relate to cancer. “With over 60% of Americans in the workforce,” Penny says, “we have a captive audience for addressing cancer before it occurs.”

Health professionals across Montana and the nation wish to increase cancer screening rates and provide education to individuals. Dress in Blue Day is a perfect opportunity for this. Penny will be working with her sites this coming March, Colon Cancer Awareness Month, on more awareness and prevention activities. For more information on the Wellness and Cancer Control programs or worksite wellness programs visit CCHD’s Cancer Control Program online or call Penny at 452-0881 x308.