Press Release – Gillette resident Teri Dearcorn has participated in Campbell County Health’s corporate wellness program for a number of years. While she’s always enjoyed participating in the program through her employer and keeping an eye on her health, she never actually expected the program to save her life.
In August 2016, she went in for her annual wellness screening and was surprised when she received a phone call from her doctor’s office a few weeks later about her blood test results. She’d always had her results sent to her physician, but when she got a call saying her numbers were off and needed to do a follow-up test she was caught off guard. And then when the second test results came back showing that her numbers had declined further, Teri became more concerned.
“That’s when I started getting alerted to something wrong,” Teri said.
After having a bone marrow biopsy at CCH’s Heptner Cancer Center, Teri was referred to Denver because the test found a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). For the past year-and-half, Teri has undergone treatment, that has included chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. But it’s the initial annual wellness screening that Teri credits with saving her life.
“The doctor said if I had gone two or three more weeks I wouldn’t be here,” Teri said. “The doctor said that with early detection of this fatal disease, he felt ‘very confident’ that it could be cured. That screening saved my life.” Within a month of her blood draw, Teri was admitted to the University of Colorado to begin her journey to healing.
Teri had participated in the program for a number of years through her employer, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and even encouraged her co-workers to participate. It helped her track her high blood pressure and gave her tips on ways to live a healthier life.
In 2017, more than 15,000 people participated in one of CCH’s Wellness programs—Corporate Wellness or its daily screening program. The annual blood screening and wellness coaching is provided through corporate partnerships with CCH that help many community members keep their health in check.
“This is their window to see what needs to be done with their health,” said Christina Rose, wellness clinic supervisor and Health Coach. “We want people to feel empowered about their health. Preventative health is so important.”
Participating in the program is something that Christina believes empowers individuals to take charge of their health and monitor their progress. With the health coaching program, available only through Corporate Wellness, the coach typically spends 10-15 minutes going over a client’s blood panel and explaining what all the numbers mean. If something comes back off in their blood screening, like in Teri’s case, clients are encouraged to follow-up with their physician for further explanation and possible additional testing.
This year CCH added five new screenings to offer more value to clients. These screenings are available to individuals who want to take part in the Daily Health Screenings that Wellness offers, as well as additional tests that Corporate Wellness participants can choose to have done. In addition to testing for the basics like cholesterol, blood sugar and blood cell counts, participants can opt to take tests that screen for lead, Hepatitis C, celiac disease and two for thyroid irregularities.
Now retired from the Sheriff’s department, Teri still participates in the program through her husband’s employment with the City of Gillette’s Police Department.
“My husband and kids, I’m sure, are very thankful I participated in the wellness program,” Teri said. “Without it, I may not be here right now. I hope that through my experience other people will be inspired to be more proactive in their health.”
The start of a new year is a great time to get your blood checked and establish baseline levels for cholesterol and other important components in your blood. CCH Wellness in Gillette, Wyoming offers affordable blood screenings every weekday from 6-11 am at 1901 Energy Court, Suite 125, with no appointment required. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/screen or call 307.688.8051.
Interested in learning more about Corporate Wellness programs?
A wellness program is an investment in your organization’s most important asset – your employees. Organizations implementing Corporate Wellness programs report reduced healthcare costs, increased productivity, improved employee morale and organizational loyalty. CCH Wellness works with your company to improve the health of your employees as well as the spouses of those employees. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer
Below are some photos provided by Teri Dearcorn during her fight against Acute Myeloid Leukemia! Teri is very open to sharing her story. If you’d like to speak with her, please contact Felicia Messimer in CCH Community Relations at 307.688.1580.