YMCA of the Greater Tri Valley to offer employees paid leave for cancer screening On May 23, the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the Greater TriValley voted to offer their full-time employees paid time off for cancer screening. This will allow full time staff 8 hours per year to obtain screening for any type of cancer. This will include physical exams, imaging, colonoscopy, skin checks and surgical procedures related to detecting cancer.
YMCA Executive Director Hank Leo worked with the Oneida County Health Department’s Cancer Services Program of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties to design a policy and bring the policy and other information to the Board for their support. He had this to say about the organization’s decision to adopt this policy:
“At the Y, we consider our employees our greatest asset. To those who are members, guests, or volunteers, the staff are the Y. We also consider our staff one large family, and families take care of each other. There isn’t a day that goes by where cancer doesn’t affect every one of us. Personally, I lost my Dad to cancer several years ago and several close friends.
“I know the impact it has. At the Y, we also have the ability to help individuals and their families become and stay healthy, and surround them with support as they struggle with this disease. Early detection is the key. That’s where we want to be, and that’s where we can be of help to our employees. Giving our full-time, hard-working staff paid time to screen for early detection is a no-brainer.”
Regular cancer screening has proven effective in the early detection of many cancers, and even the prevention of some cancers. Some employees find it difficult to get to medical facilities that are only open when they are working. Implementation of this policy has eliminated this barrier for the staff of the YMCA and made the Y a leader in the community in terms of promoting the health of their employees.
The Oneida County Health Department’s Cancer Services Program of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties is working in the community to educate local businesses on the importance of paid time off policies for cancer screenings. If you are an employer and would like to learn more about this initiative, please contact the Cancer Services Program at 315-798- 5248.