THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Northwestern Ontario’s Screen for Life Coach is due back in Thunder Bay at the end of August. “We have received confirmation that the coach will arrive back in Thunder Bay at the end of this month,” said Julia Bailey, Mobile Coach Lead. “We have been anticipating this news for a few months, and are happy to confirm that we will be back in service soon.”
The coach has been out of service since February due to damage sustained in a motor vehicle accident while it was in the United States for warranty repairs.
Once the coach arrives back at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, it will offer four days of screening in the city before heading out to the region following a condensed travel schedule . Currently, the condensed schedule includes travel to the larger regional centres, such as: Sioux Narrows, Emo, Atikokan, Nipigon, Longlac, Geraldton, Terrace Bay, Marathon, Red Lake and Dryden. “We chose the larger centres in the region as a way to maximize the number of appointments that we can provide. We encourage women who want to get screened this season to travel to these locations. Travel grants are available for women who travel more than 100 km in one direction for a mammogram,” explained Bailey. “We are doing our best to accommodate the most women in a much shorter period of time.”
The Screen for Life Coach offers three organized provincial cancer screening programs for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 years should have a mammogram to screen for breast cancer every two years. Women between the ages of 21 and 69 years, who have ever been sexually active, should have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer every three years. Men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 years, with no family history of colorectal cancer, should be screened every two years using a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kit. Women can book their cancer screening appointment on the coach by calling (807) 684-7777 or 1-800-461-7031.
When asked about the impact on screening for women in the region, Dr. Mark Henderson, Executive Vice President, Patient Services at the Health Sciences Centre and Regional Vice President, Cancer Care Ontario, said, “Although the circumstances surrounding this valuable service have been disappointing, we are now focusing on getting back on track. Clients of the Screen for Life Coach can be assured that we are offering high-quality services that meet provincial standards.”
While the coach was out of service, Prevention and Screening Services at the Health Sciences Centre was facilitating appointments for women to get a mammogram at one of the five other regional Ontario Breast Screening Program affiliated sites. “In addition to helping women book their breast cancer screening appointments at regional sites, we also scheduled Pap test appointments with our coach registered nurses at the Health Sciences Centre to help clients remain up-to-date with their screening,” added Bailey.
Following the condensed travel season, the coach will offer cancer screening services in Thunder Bay over the winter months as per its usual schedule. Next April, the coach will resume its normal travel schedule and will be available in more regional locations, including Indigenous communities.
For more information about the 2016 travel season, visit: www.tbrhsc.net/screenforlife. Find us on Facebook by searching ‘Screen for Life Coach Northwest’.