THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – An accident has put cancer care for women into a crunch. Northwestern Ontario’s Screen for Life Coach will be out of service for an indefinite period of time following a collision while it was in the United States for warranty repair.
The coach was under the care and operation of the manufacturing company at the time of the accident. The damage has taken the coach out of service for the foreseeable future. This will have an impact on women in Northwestern Ontario and Thunder Bay who use the coach for its screening services and were scheduled to get screened in Thunder Bay, and in communities throughout the region during the coach’s summer travel schedule that was due to start next month.
“This is not good news for women of Northwestern Ontario and our top priority will be minimizing the impact this has on them,” said Mobile Coach Lead Lauren Beach. “We are hoping to see the coach return to service as quickly as possible. In the meantime we are working to inform women of their screening options both locally and regionally.”
The Screen for Life Coach is a mobile screening service that travels to more than 75 different locations throughout Northwestern Ontario from April to October and provides services in Thunder Bay during the winter. It offers three different types of screening to women: breast, cervical, and colorectal.
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) does not know when the coach will be back in service and as a result the summer schedule is suspended indefinitely. An assessment of the damage, repairs required and the timelines should be available late next week. TBRHSC will have a better assessment of the impact on this summer’s schedule then.
In the meantime, there are options both for women in the region and in Thunder Bay if they had planned to use the coach for their screening. In Thunder Bay, patients can consider:
- Booking at the Linda Buchan Centre or;
- Thunder Bay Diagnostics;
- Wait for the return of the coach: This may mean the patient’s appointment won’t be until the fall.
Any patient who wants to screen at a different screening site for their upcoming appointment then return to the coach for their subsequent screening are asked to state that when they are recalled in one or two years.
Options for Regional Patients are:
- Screening at one of our regional Ontario Breast Screening Program affiliates in Kenora, Fort Frances or in Thunder Bay at either the Linda Buchan Centre or Thunder Bay Diagnostics;
- Wait for the return of the coach. This could mean the patients screening would be next travel season, (Summer 2017), depending on timelines for the coach’s return.
Similarly, any women seeking screening at a different site for their upcoming appointment and who want to return to the coach for their subsequent screening should state that when recalled in one or two years.
“Screening saves lives,” said Beach. “We will work with the manufacturing company to get the coach back in operation as quickly as possible. But in the meantime we encourage women in Northwestern Ontario and Thunder Bay to explore the options and still get screened.”
If you have questions about where to get screened, please call our main office and we can help you book an appointment that is convenient for you: Call 1-807-684-7777 or 1-800-461-7031.