Commentary: As a national employer with locations in many states, CBS has developed a corporate-wide cancer support program through its health plan administrator, United Healthcare. This program is designed to help any family touched by cancer and offers access to services through oncology nurses. These medical professionals provide overall assistance – from helping a patient find providers, to facilitating transmission of medical records, obtaining second opinions, gathering information about medications and their side effects, to educating families about how to talk with children about cancer and end-of-life care, among others.

Also see:How to build an effective workplace cancer-support program.”

Employees learn about the program and what it has to offer through online information and a live webinar. When an employee is diagnosed with cancer, Cancer Support will reach out. CBS also provides a mobile “wallet card” with contact information for all providers; this includes Cancer Support and EAP contact information.

Other components of the proactive CBS program include:

  • Two weeks of paid time-off for an employee who needs to be with a critically ill family member.
  • Paid time-off for employees who want to donate bone marrow or organs.
  • Onsite screenings where possible in many locations with doctors and dentists screening for skin and mouth cancers, among others.
  • When on-site screenings are not possible, local medical professionals provide “CBS Days” at local offices – for example “CBS Mammography Days” at mammography centers.
  • On-site seminar by a physician for colon cancer offered as a webcast across the country. Following the webcast, employees are encouraged to call to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. CBS has best-in-class numbers for cancer screenings including colon cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.

CBS also offers subsidized in-home back-up adult care for an employee who is providing care for a parent, parent in-law or spouse during treatment but must be at work.
Another valuable program that CBS offers is “Be the Match” bone marrow registry drives, held on-site at several locations throughout the year. CBS also held an online campaign that offered employees the opportunity to receive a kit by mail that lets them join the registry – this allowed CBS to reach all employees in the United States with the campaign. While drives are not usually done for specific CBS employees or families, those who have had a bone marrow transplant can provide positive feedback about the service and how it helped them.

Michelle Martin is vice president, human resources at CBS Corporation. Robert W. Jacob is director, health & productivity, with Unum U.S.’s national client group.

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