The summer months are often a period of time when there is less happening in the “cancer awareness” arena. For this reason, I want to challenge everyone to get the creative juices flowing and think about some new and innovative ways to raise awareness and truly inspire consumers to take better care of themselves by getting the cancer screening tests they need.
This might mean changing the way outreach is traditionally done. Is there a way to reach the right populations of people at risk other than setting up a booth at a health fair? Recently, I thought about this regarding colorectal cancer screenings. (Let’s face it, no one wants to walk over to a colorectal cancer education booth!) So rather than expecting people to come to us, I recommended that we go to them—beginning with our own Hopkins employees. Two wonderful willing people here got into costumes— a polyp costume (a modified tomato costume available online will do) and a policewoman’s uniform—and went into various departments as the “polyp police”!! Handcuffed together, the policewoman showed employees seated at their desk that she had “caught this one, but it had already gone bad” and recommended that they read the criteria for who needs colonoscopy screening done and call the (new) Hopkins employee scheduling number to get scheduled. It was fun, engaging, and caused lots of employees to talk about colon cancer!!
And the polyp police will be making the rounds every month to a different department here to spread the word. We don’t want to do this just during national colorectal cancer awareness month, right? People sure need to be aware during months other than March.
So write to us and let us know some of your innovative ideas you have already implemented that others, including me, can learn from. Also share with us new programs that you will be launching soon. I’m working next on breast cancer awareness and lung cancer awareness and have some hopefully clever ways to inspire people to get screening mammograms as well as give up the cancer sticks.
Got any ideas yet? Let me know!
With best regards,
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS