FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--The key to motivating employees to participate
in worksite screening programs is simply to provide good quality
health care, while ensuring confidentially and easy accessibility,
Philip Passalaqua, MD, said at the second annual Industries' Coalition
Against Cancer conference. These methods worked at Schering-Plough
where Dr. Passalaqua is vice-president and medical director, Employee
"We didn't limit our activities to work-related injuries
or illness, and we're continuing to move into the primary care
arena," he said. He wants workers to come to think of the
company's medical personnel as simply doctors, nurses, and technicians,
"without the word 'company' before each of these designations."
At AlliedSignal Corporation, Morristown, NJ, workers are pulled
into the company's wellness program using videos, flyers, E-mail,
newsletters, one-on-one counseling, and group workshops, said
Christine Haskins, program manager, Employee Health Promotion
and Fitness. Employees are encouraged to take responsibility for
their health. "As much as you can coach and counsel, it's
really got to come from them," she said.
Workers Donate Bone Marrow
Workers at The Williams Companies, Tulsa, were motivated to register
for the National Bone Marrow Registry, once they were educated
about the program and barriers to access were removed, said Chris
Bousum, MA, manager, Employee Health and Fitness. The company
footed the bill for tissue typing and arranged for typing to be
done on site, but in the first year only 36 people were typed,
resulting in one transplantation.
Participation increased significantly in 1994 after some modifications:
First, in its communications, the company began referring to the
procedure simply as "typing," eliminating the word "tissue,"
because people thought the testing involved taking tissue samples
rather than simply giving blood. Second, the company used the
experience of the first donor to generate interest, and third,
minorities, including Native Americans, were targeted with special
communications about the need for minority donors.
Two employees who registered and were eventually selected to donate
bone marrow also spoke at the Coalition meeting, expressing their
personal gratification at being given the opportunity to help
save a life.