Local Worksite Wellness Programs Recieve National Recognition
Local wellness teams were recently highlighted in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent publication, “Increasing Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening: An Action Guide to Facilitate Evidence-Based Strategies.” The guide cites interventions during 2011-2012 at the Great Falls Police Department, Great Falls Public Works Department, and Chouteau County Health Department. Cancer prevention messages continue to be a part of the health promotion goals for all participating wellness teams.
Penny Paul, Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) Community Health Education Specialist, partners with the sites through the Montana Cancer Control Program. Together, Paul and the sites developed cancer prevention information and programs for employees as part of ongoing worksite wellness initiatives. “Cancer prevention is a perfect marriage with worksite wellness, as it is a huge return on investment for employers,” says Paul. During 2011-2012, clinical breast exams increased from 74.7% to 78.2%, and Pap tests increased from 87.4% to 93.1% among participating worksite employees. The number of people diagnosed with cancer increased from 12 to 19, increasing the likelihood of earlier and more successful treatment.
The CDC recognized several of the interventions and materials Paul and the worksites developed. These included informational sessions on breast cancer screening guidelines, evidence-based education on breast and cervical cancer, and awareness campaigns and materials, including pink ribbons displayed on GFPD patrol cars and prevention flyers created by former GFPD Captain Bryan Lockerby. Many of these education and awareness pieces were shared with worksites across Montana, and local media provided excellent coverage of the city’s prevention efforts.
The full CDC report is available here