Innovative Integrated Cancer Screening Day: A Wellness Day For Women...By Women

Mary Pat CANNON, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, Canada

1 Environmental Health - Cancer Prevention Program, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, Peterborough, Canada

An inter-professional collaboration of public health nurses, family health teams, Ontario Breast Screening program sites, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Trent University Nursing students resulted in an innovative primary prevention strategy - The Cancer Screening Day: A Wellness Day for Women, by Women aimed to promote access to Cancer Care Ontario’s three screening programs -  ColonCancerCheck, the Ontario Breast Screening Program and the Ontario Cervical Screening Program while addressing common barriers to screening.

A personal invitation was sent to under/never screened women from their health care provider emphasizing the importance of preventative health care. The Wellness day for Women...By Women was designed to reduce barriers to screening, enhance the social context and establish partnership champions. Listening to clients, attending to their needs, providing one on one instruction for the Fecal Occult Blood (FOBT) test and transportation / personal escort service to the breast assessment centre relieved many anxieties.

The success from two previous Wellness Day events lead to the 2015 expansion that inlcuded three of five family health organizations in the Peterborough area. Of the 155 women registered for the day, 145 (94%) participated. Results of the qualitative and quantitative evaluation have identifed partnership facilitators and barriers; strengths and challenges of interprofessional collaboration.

Our champion NP effectively collaborated with peers and partner agencies to support expansion of the screening day event to two additional family health organizations and one additional breast screening site for 2015.The reach for this novel approach to cancer screening is expanding with NPs taking the lead.  Under the leadership of our champion NP, Peterborough Primary Health Care Services were successful in receiving Quality Improvement Funding from Cancer Care Ontario, Central East Cancer Prevention and Screening Network to implement the 2015 Wellness Day for Women. 

Funding Source
Quality Improvement Program Funding, Cancer Care Ontario,