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 Health Services.
"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.