Bus collision puts brakes on mobile cancer screening in northwestern Ontario
Mobile coach normally vists 75 communities, and screens 6,000 women annually
Northwestern Ontario's Screen for Life Coach program is on hold after its mobile coach was involved in a collision in New York State.
The accident happened when the cancer screening bus was state-side for warranty work and under the care of the manufacturer.
Lauren Beach leads up the mobile coach program.
She says the loss of the screening bus creates inconvenience for their clients through the region.
"The benefit of the coach is we reduce access barriers to screening, " said Beach.
"So we are closing the distance and driving into communities so that women don't have to drive out of their home communities for these important screening tests."
She said they are now waiting to find out how bad the damage is to the bus, and if it can be properly fixed.
"Our primary focus is to make sure its safe going forward," she said.
"So we are kind of pulling out all stops to make sure that it's assessed by a number of different people, to make sure that it's safe ... it's repaired and returned to Thunder Bay."
Beach said 10 part-time employees work on the mobile coach, and other employees are tied to the program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
Some of those staff are booking women at the Linda Buchan centre to ensure they can screen coach clients who are due and eligible in February and March.
Beach said the coach visits up to 75 communities annually in the northwest — from Wawa to the Manitoba border — and screens 6,000 women annually.
- A previous version of this story said the collision happened in Minnesota.Mar 11, 2016 10:28 AM ET