"The Challenge is a win-win for employees and employers," said Anna Notier, MCC Cancer Policy Consultant. "Our primary goal is to improve employee health and wellness. At the same time, a healthy workforce can improve the bottom line."
Each of the MCC Challenge Award recipients committed to assessing their organization's current policies; obtain baseline data regarding screening rates; and create an action plan based on the assessment.
"We're expecting to see increases in employee cancer screening among the Challenge organizations," said Notier. "Those that have the most dramatic improvements will be publicized as model organizations to encourage other employers to adopt similar policies."
According to the Partnership for Prevention, employers who want to invest their health care dollars will emphasize preventive services that are proven to be cost-effective. Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings are proven to be cost-effective in the short, mid, and long-term.
"We're proud of our Employee Wellness Program," said Pat Fralick, Director of Family & Community Health for the Health Department. “We believe it is important to encourage our employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. We've made sure our health insurance policy covers cancer screening. But we also offer employee wellness activities year-round, such as weight-loss contests and lunch time presentations on topics such as healthy nutrition, reducing stress, and ergonomics."
In addition to the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, the other Challenge Award winners are American Cancer Society-Great Lakes, Catherine Health Center, District Health Department #10, Health Plus of Michigan, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Michigan Osteopathic Association, and the Sparrow Health System.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information regarding the Health Department's Employee Wellness Program, contact Lynne DeMoor at 231-347-4640.