One of the pillars behind our workplace wellness program – the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM accreditation -- is a workplace culture that recognizes the needs of employees who are cancer survivors themselves or who are family members/caregivers of cancer survivors.
COVID 19 presents a new challenge to sustaining that focus.
Doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, note that patients with blood malignancies such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma are most at risk.
But also at risk are those in active treatment for any type of cancer and those who’ve undergone bone marrow transplants. The risk can be long term, extending beyond the period of active treatment. Special consideration for care-givers also should be considered.
What can you as an employer do for workers undergoing treatment for cancer or those who have completed treatment and remain at risk? Work-at-home options are important but may be difficult in some work settings. If in doubt about how to help, consult your family medical leave or disability providers.
As a reminder, there are many reliable online resources you can use or share:
- For cancer patients:
- The Centers for Disease Control site also offers extensive and up-to-date information: COVID-19 How to Protect Yourself | What To Do if You Are Sick
- COVID-19: The connection to smoking and vaping, and resources for quitting