While healthcare providers are taking strides to improve the patient experience, healthcare workers are often so busy caring for patients, that they may neglect (or overlook) their personal health and preventative care. Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s leading Southern California breast imaging center, founded “Mammo Monday,” an educational and experiential program held bi-annually. Mammo Monday was created to help encourage hospital employees, volunteers, and their spouses to prioritize their own annual breast health screenings. Since its inception over a decade ago, Mammo Monday has made a difference in the lives of many employees by providing and advocating for regular screenings and early detection.
Story submitted by: Joelle Biegel, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital
Mammo Monday – Taking Care of Me
The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center
The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, located on the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital campus in Valencia, California, has conducted over 1,300 mammograms for employees, their families, and local physician office staff members, since the inception of “Mammo Monday” in 2007.
The concept originally began as a way to encourage nurses, technicians, and hospital employees to take the time to have annual mammograms. While Henry Mayo employees are committed to improving the health of their community through compassion and excellence in healthcare services, they sometimes do not remember to prioritize their own health.
In 2005, before the program began, an employee had a screening at the Breast Center, after not receiving one for five years. A large cancerous mass was detected during this screening. As the employee courageously fought breast cancer, the experience weighed heavily on the hearts of so many staff members at Henry Mayo. Feeling the need to be more aggressive in caring for the health of their colleagues, “Mammo Monday, Caring for Me” was founded.
“I began Mammo Monday because I felt that we needed to do more to educate our own healthcare workers and encourage them to be compliant with their own health screenings,” said Terry Bucknall, Director of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. “The upside is that our employees also have higher compliance visiting their individual healthcare providers for annual check-ups.”
Employee compliance has been consistent over the past 11 years. Employees unable to attend a Mammo Monday can schedule appointments to suit their schedule and are reminded, like all patients, that it’s time to have their screening.
In 2016, two more employee cancers were detected during Mammo Monday screenings –Happily, both are cancer free and doing well today.
Mammo Monday at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center occurs twice a year – on the second Mondays in February and August- and is designed to be fun and festive. Free chair massages and healthy refreshments are offered to employees, many of whom attend screenings during rest and meal periods. Goodie bags are also given out to participants that include patient education and useful gifts, such as insulated lunch bags and branded coffee mugs that serve as a reminder to have an annual screening.
Mammo Monday events are promoted on the hospital’s Intranet, through weekly emails, posters and flyers. An informational table is also set up in the cafeteria to encourage all employees to take care of themselves during Mammo Monday!
PDC Healthcare would like to thank The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center for sharing their story with us, and for their continued commitment to the community through their leading services and programs.