WASHINGTONThe 18 members of the Board of Sponsors of the
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) campaign today
challenged American employers to strengthen employee health care
benefits and support for working women coping with breast cancer as
well as those who seek information about prevention, early detection,
treatment, and research.
A just-completed NBCAM survey of some 2,000 businesses revealed seven
areas for improvement over the next 3 years. These seven national
workplace goals for the year 2002 (and the 1999 survey results) are
More than 90% of all medical benefit plans will provide multifaceted,
comprehensive coverage for breast cancer detection and treatment
At least 50% of all benefit plans will include participation in
federally sponsored breast cancer clinical trials, a rarity among
most current plans (1999: 20%).
At least 75% of all companies will provide time off for mammography
screening or will make it available on site during business hours
More than 90% of employers will take a proactive stance in breast
cancer education by actively distributing informational materials
(1999: 31%) and by providing on-site educational forums (1999: 20%).
At least 50% of companies will require health care/cancer sensitivity
training for all managers in order to foster an environment
supportive to working women coping with breast cancer (1999: 3%).
At least 50% of employers will promote employee volunteerism and/or
provide philanthropic support for local breast cancer organizations
At least 75% of companies will rate their breast cancer policies and
employee health care benefit plans as good or
excellent (1999: 45%).
Said NBCAM National Coordinator, B.J. Iacino, We are grateful
for the many remarkable ways in which business leaders have joined
the fight against breast cancer over the past decade. However, women
are telling us, and our survey confirms, that more needs to be
done. She noted that women make up 46% of the US labor force,
and that 54% of women over age 18 work outside the home.