Raising awareness of the importance of early detection of prostate cancer is the goal, explains David French, President and CEO at Obsidian Energy Ltd and Prostate Cancer Centre’s newest board member. “If you are identified, people should not panic, they should recognize that early detection is the key to treatment and the success rate is very, very high.”
In its fifth year of sponsorship of the rural MAN VAN program, Obsidian Energy– formerly Penn West Petroleum Ltd.– is aware that if prostate cancer is detected early there is a 95 per cent survivability rate. By engaging its employees in a conversation about being proactive with their health, Obsidian hopes that more men will make their health and wellbeing a priority. “[Men] generally have a feeling that they are invincible and they do not realize that they are not invincible until it is almost too late and someone gives them bad news,” says French.
On May 16, 2018, Obsidian hosted a MAN VAN clinic at their downtown office in Calgary. The event welcomed staff and partners of staff to come get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test and have health measurements taken. In total, 30 men had a baseline PSA test on the MAN VAN and 38 received blood pressure, blood sugar and waist circumference measurements.
French explains that it is important to him that his staff knows that this resource is available to them, not only at their downtown office location, but also in the field. For several years, the rural MAN VAN has had the opportunity to visit rural communities where Obsidian’s field offices are located. “Originally when you look at an aging workforce, we enjoyed the fact that the MAN VAN, not only does work in Calgary, but works wherever we work as well,” explains French. By making this a fairly regular part of their work environment and allowing employees access to this resource, French hopes that men do not feel embarrassed to go get tested.
Organized by its employees, Obsidian’s social committee looks for three pillars that they invest in: health, social wellness, and environment. French explains that the MAN VAN program falls under both health and social wellness. As one of the founding partners of the rural MAN VAN, French says that by being involved in the program, it will hopefully create a dialogue and a lifestyle in which men are regularly taking care of their health. “Nowadays health and medicine is all about trying to look into the future and actively manage your health.” By encouraging men to not only react to illness, but to be proactive instead, he hopes that Obsidian can help guide its employees to live in a healthier way.
To learn more about Obsidian Energy Ltd., please visit, www.obsidianenergy.com
Author & Photographer: Nicole Braun, Volunteer Writer, Prostate Cancer Centre