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Thu, Oct 12, 2023 at 05:16 PM

Farm Fresh Foods is Leading the Way in Employee Health with Free Mammograms

In an inspiring display of corporate responsibility and care for its employees, Farm Fresh Foods, a leading agricultural company, has taken significant steps to promote the well-being of its workforce.

Farm Fresh Foods has established a partnership with Marshall Medical Centers to offer free mammograms to its employees, regardless of whether they have insurance or not.

The idea for this groundbreaking initiative was born out of a genuine concern for the health of their employees. Charlene Irizarry, Human Resources Manager at Farm Fresh, explained the rationale behind the program.

"We offer our employees an option to enroll in our insurance benefits, but we noticed a lot of our employees were not taking our insurance, and we still wanted to offer them the option to get a free mammogram,” Charlene said.

The program offers free mammograms to Farm Fresh Foods employees who have completed one year of service and are over the age of 40. Furthermore, Farm Fresh Foods has tied the mammogram scheduling to the women’s birth month, making it both convenient and memorable.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this program is that employees do not have to lose working hours to get their mammograms done, and depending on the time of the appointment, the ladies stop as a group for breakfast or lunch after their mammograms, turning the outing into a fun and enjoyable experience.

Charlene and Farm Fresh Foods' 1st Aid coordinator, Jenipher Rodriguez have been instrumental in the program's success. Charlene emphasized this program is all about empowering the employees.

"It's their day, they make the decision,” she said. “All the results of these mammograms are shared with Farm Fresh's doctor, and if follow-up mammograms are needed Farm Fresh covers the expenses, ensuring that employees receive the necessary care and support.”

The impact of this program on employees' lives has been nothing short of amazing. One touching story highlights its life-saving potential.

"We had one lady who was close to retirement, and for the last 5 years she did not have a mammogram done, but she saw the fellowship of our employees getting to get out of the plant and having lunch and having a good time, she decided she wanted to sign up to have a mammogram,” Charlene said. “They detected early stages of breast cancer during her mammogram, and since it was detected so early she was able to get treated before it was out of hand. She told me if it was not for this program she does not know when she would have gotten a mammogram, but this program saved her life."

The journey towards this noble program began when Farm Fresh Food’s leadership team initiated discussions with Marshall Medical Centers in 2018. The program officially kicked off in 2019 and since then as provided 187 free mammograms.

Farm Fresh Foods’ workforce is primarily composed of Hispanic females.

"The Hispanic community, especially females, we don't focus on our health until it's super late, and culturally insurance is not a priority in the Hispanic community, so we really are proud of what this program is able to achieve with our employees,” Charlene said.

Charlene mentioned sometimes there is some hesitation by their Hispanic female employees about getting their mammogram. 

"Jenipher really is the key on encouraging participation," Charlene said. "If they are not interested, she does her best to change their mind and make sure they're aware of the benefits of early detection."

This initiative doesn't stop at just employees; it extends to their families as well. If an employee's daughter or wife needs a mammogram, Farm Fresh Foods will cover the expenses, particularly if there is a family history of cancer.

Farm Fresh Foods goes the extra mile to ensure that the experience is enjoyable and relaxed.

"We make it a fun day,” Charlene said. “We get a break from work, and for me, it's a way to sit down with them outside of work and talk to them about things going on in their lives and at work. They tend to open up about the plant, and that's really helpful with my role in HR. It's not like let's get tested and let's go back. We really try to make it fun."

Farm Fresh Foods’ commitment to the health and well-being of its employees is truly commendable. The free mammogram program in partnership with Marshall Medical Centers not only showcases the company's dedication but also highlights the positive impact programs like this can have on employees' lives.

"The best part of this program is we know we are saving lives, and that is worth it,” Charlene said.

Farm Fresh Foods is setting a shining example of corporate social responsibility and community involvement that other companies can look up to.