The Anne Johnston Health Station kicks off its campaign to encourage women with disabilities to get a pap test

TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - The Anne Johnston Health Station (AJHS) is pleased to announce that it will be expanding its Pap screening for women with physical disabilities. Women with physical disabilities face numerous barriers to accessing Pap tests, which may account for lower rates of screening than able-bodied women. Echo: Improving Women's Health in Ontario, a provincial agency dedicated to improving women's health, recently selected AJHS as a demonstration site for women with physical disabilities seeking Pap tests in order to support efforts to adapt and adopt the AJHS model of practice across Ontario.

AJHS offers a barrier-free environment including a fully accessible building equipped with ramps, elevators, electronic doors, ceiling lifts and accessible examination tables. The Pap tests are provided safely in a welcoming, non-judgmental way by Nurse Practitioners.

AJHS executive director, Brenda McNeil says, "we are very happy to partner with Echo in its effort to increase access to cancer screening for underserved groups of women around Ontario. AJHS is pleased to have been selected as a 'best practice site' and our staff look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise in this important area of cervical cancer screening." Many women with disabilities are under the misconception that they do not need a Pap test while others find physicians' offices are inconvenient and inaccessible. "We provide longer appointment times and an attendant to assist with additional needs due to physical limitations," says Janis Macdonald, Nurse Practitioner at AJHS.

A Pap test is an important screening tool used to prevent the development of cervical cancer. The test detects abnormal cervical changes before they become cancerous. It is a woman's best protection against cervical cancer.

Quick Facts:

  • 38 per cent of women living with physical disabilities report having difficulty accessing the examining table in their family doctor's office
  • Women with disabilities are significantly less likely to receive regular pelvic exams

About AJHS:

The Anne Johnston Health Centre (AJHS) is a not-for-profit, publicly funded community health centre (CHC) located in Toronto. It offers interdisciplinary staff and provides a variety of programs and services to three target populations: youth, seniors and people with physical disabilities. For people with disabilities, it offers Barrier Free Programs including SexAbility and People on Wheels (POW).

About Echo: Echo: Improving Women's Health in Ontario is an agency of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Echo promotes equity and improved health for women by working in collaborative partnerships with the health system, communities, researchers and policy-makers. The priority health issues include chronic disease management, sexual and reproductive health and mental health and addictions.

SOURCE The Anne Johnston Health Station

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact one of our Nurse Practitioners:

Edith Keeler
edithk@ajhs.ca
Janis Macdonald
janism@ajhs.ca
416-486-8666 ext. 259

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The Anne Johnston Health Station

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