As the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations took center stage during the height of the pandemic, other health concerns, like cancer care, quickly took a backseat. The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) reported that CT scans to detect cancer fell by 82% during this time.
The Cancer Moonshot initiative, recently relaunched by President Biden’s administration, is focused on overcoming barriers and increasing access to cancer screenings for all Americans. This effort hopes to minimize the effects of nearly 9.5 million delayed screenings and reduce cancer deaths predicted in coming years.
In an effort to curb these effects, some employers are stepping up to the plate to help their team members. MMR Group partnered with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to bring preventative care straight to the workplace, making it easy and convenient for its employees to receive free cancer screenings.
The Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go Workplace (POGO) program eliminates time and cost barriers to bring key preventative and early detection measures to employees at work. It’s a potentially life-saving curbside cancer screening service easily integrated into each company’s workplace setting.
MMR, an electrical and instrumentation contractor, has been a supporter of Mary Bird Perkins since 2018, investing more than $100,000 in the fight against cancer. The multifaceted corporate partnership, which includes an investment in the Cancer Center’s mission, event sponsorship, participation in POGO, workplace giving, employee engagement through education sessions and more, has been truly remarkable.
The company has seen several employees take advantage of workplace screenings, some of whom received follow up treatments and services based on their results.
This was the case for Charles Johnson, MMR facility operations team member, who was diagnosed with skin cancer after his screening. “If this opportunity hadn’t been available, I probably would never have gone to see a doctor,” Charles said. “If I had known how bad it was getting, I wouldn’t have waited so long.”
Charles said he doesn’t often see a doctor and hasn’t been diligent about annual check-ups. When the Cancer Center brought its mobile screening unit straight to him at work, his wife and colleagues encouraged him to make an appointment.
Charles frequently works in the sun and said he had a noticeable spot on his arm. “I’m hard-headed, but people were concerned about me,” he said. “I decided to get screened because it was convenient.
Charles has had surgeries to successfully remove multiple cancerous spots on his skin that were found during two separate screenings over several years.
“I would highly recommend other companies offer this service to their employees,” he said. “Not everyone has time to go somewhere for screenings. Mary Bird Perkins comes straight to you, and they lead you in the right direction.”
After one year of involvement and experiencing the Cancer Center’s care and compassion, MMR joined Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center as a Corporate Partner in 2019. MMR has since provided on-site skin cancer, oral cancer and breast cancer screenings, as well as tobacco cessation counseling to employees in the Greater Baton Rouge area and across South Louisiana.
Danielle Mack, vice president and chief development officer for the Cancer Center, said the POGO Workplace program has been a gamechanger for MMR and many other companies in the area.
“Not only does MMR serve as a community leader in corporate philanthropy, they are intentional about offering accessible ways for their employees to join them in supporting and getting involved with a cause that touches so many,” Danielle said. “When an organization stands alongside us as a corporate partner, they are demonstrating their commitment to impacting lives right here at home.”
Mary Bird Perkins’ Prevention on the Go Workplace program recently celebrated a milestone 5,000 screenings, with many more scheduled to come.
Learn more about the POGO Workplace program and how you can bring preventative care services to your workplace at marybird.org/get-screened.