By Hayley Hill (Meds 2021), Zoe Hutchison (Meds 2021), Eva Bruketa (Meds 2022)
A unique partnership between Queen’s University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology program and the South East Regional Cancer program out of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario (CCSEO) is helping to minimize barriers and ensure adequate access for all individuals with a cervix to receive cancer screening. Known as Pap Party, this collaboration offers free pap smear clinics across Southeastern Ontario for any individual with a cervix who may not have access to a primary care provider.
The most recent Cancer System Quality Index notes that only 63.6% of screen-eligible individuals in the South East region are up to date with their cervical cancer screening. As a result of the Pap Party campaign, in 2018 four clinic dates were held and 92 individuals received a pap smear. The highest number of individuals screened since the initiation of the Pap Party in 2015!
This year, the fourth annual Pap Party event will take place October 21-24th, during Cervical Cancer Awareness week. Any person with a cervix aged 21-70 who has not had a pap smear in the last three years is welcome. To increase accessibility to cervical cancer screening, individuals without primary care physicians, with or without a valid health card are encouraged to attend the Pap Party events.
The clinics are run by a team of medical students, and residents and physicians from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at HSCH in collaboration with the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC). The first Pap Party in 2015 took place in Kingston and has since grown to offer clinics in Bancroft, Napanee, and Tyendinaga as well.
The 2019 Pap Party schedule is below:
- Monday October 21 5:30pm – 7:30pm: HPEPH Bancroft
- Tuesday October 22 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Community Well Being Centre, Tyendinaga, Mohawk Territory
- Wednesday October 23 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, (KGH site) Kingston
- Thursday October 24 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Kingston Community Health Center, Napanee
Anyone interested in attending a Pap Party is encouraged to book an appointment by contacting Rachel at 1.800.567.5722 extension 7809 or CancerCareSE@KingstonHSC.ca
To further expand Pap Party and combat declining cervical cancer screening rates, we have also reached out to primary care clinics in the Kingston area encouraging them to host their own pap smear clinics during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week. They will also be encouraged to offer the HPV Vaccine. Clinics that register with the FMWC receive a kit that includes a tip sheet, colour poster, news release template, and patient education brochures. To register your clinic and contribute to reducing cervical cancer rates, please visit https://fmwc.ca/events/pap-campaign/.
The FMWC website also has more information for individuals and will help them find a registered clinic nearby.
Thank you taking the time to learn about the Pap Party initiative. Please feel free to contact us if you would like any additional information and please spread information about the Pap Party event to any individuals you feel may benefit from this initiative in your life! We would be grateful and thrilled!