An innovative mobile health care program that brings cancer screening and health promotion into high-priority neighbourhoods has received Honour Roll status for the 2016 Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety.
The Screen for Life Mobile Coach, as part of the Regional Cancer Program, offers clients a cancer risk assessment, tobacco cessation intervention, mammography, pap screening and FOBT kits for colorectal screening on a 45-foot-long bus featuring a state-of-the-art digital mammography suite, private exam room, sitting area and wheelchair accessibility. The Mobile Coach visits a variety of inner-city Hamilton locations as well Six Nations and New Credit reserves. Plans are also underway to expand the program into Niagara.
Staffed by a team of Regional Cancer Program nurses and mammography technologists, the Mobile Coach provides equitable access to cancer screening for anyone facing barriers including newcomers to Canada, disabled and low income residents, Aboriginal people and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community. Community partners have been instrumental in helping the Mobile Coach team establish and build relationships in high-priority areas.
“The Mobile Coach program, its team and leadership exemplify a transformational approach for addressing the health and health care needs of underserved people from our region,” said Dr. Ralph Meyer, Vice President of Oncology and Palliative Care for Hamilton Health Sciences and Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario.
“My sincere congratulations goes out to Regional Cancer Programs Director Carol Rand, Integrated Cancer Screening Manager Patti-Ann Allen, Mobile Coach Medical Lead Dr. Meghan Davis, and Health Planner Riley Crotta for their leadership, and to the entire Mobile Coach team consisting of Mobile Cancer Screening Coordinator Alyssa Higginson; Nurse Navigators Kathleen Potter and Ingrid St. Pierre; Mammography Technologists Carrie Claxton, Leslea Boyle and Anne Hixon; Booking Clerks Elisabeth Silverthorne, Karen Todd and Emma Catacchio; and Data Analyst Britney Martin.”
Medal winners and Honour Roll members were announced by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety is an annual program recognizing the excellent work done by health care providers across the province. As a competitive annual program, it provides an opportunity to recognize system champions who place the patient at the centre of the circle of care and have demonstrated exceptional work in collaboration and achieved sustainable results, while promoting system value and quality in the health care system.