March 22, 2012 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director

Get a screening, tell a friend

"The cancer probably would have been caught and maybe removed with the recommended screening. It's a life lost and I hope his story will help someone take the step to get screened."
~ Warrenton, Ore., resident Karen Williams, whose husband, Jimmy, died at age 56, two years after deciding against being screened for colorectal cancer despite a doctor's recommendation

When we talk about preventing chronic diseases in the work we do, it's sometimes difficult to persuade people to look ahead — way ahead, years down the road — when they make decisions about their health. But personal responsibility is an important part of Oregon's health care transformation effort.

Eating better, exercising and avoiding tobacco can reduce your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and cancer, a year from now, or 10 or 20 years from now.

With one simple health screening, you could prevent the second-deadliest form of cancer.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It's an important reminder that everyone older than 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer. If you haven't been screened, your doctor can recommend a screening option that's right for you. Some options allow your doctor to identify and remove polyps before they turn cancerous. All screening options can catch cancer early when it's highly treatable.

If you have been screened, your story could save a life. Talk about your experience with your co-workers and other people in your lives, and encourage them to get screened, too. People trust information most when they receive it from someone they know.

We value your health and aim to provide a workplace environment and benefits that help you reach your wellness goals. If you have ideas of things we might do here at work to encourage people to be screened — or take other steps to improve their health — please let me know.

You can also find more information and read Oregonians' stories about how colorectal cancer and screening have affected their lives at

OHA on the web