‘Know your body’

Postal employee and cancer survivor Jay Overy

Jay Overy was surprised to learn he had colorectal cancer after undergoing a routine colonoscopy in 2017.

The Bay Village, OH, retail associate was told that because the cancer was in stage 2, there was a high chance for successful treatment.

“Early detection is critical,” said Overy, a 31-year USPS employee. “I put off my colonoscopy for two years.”

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overy considers himself lucky.

Following a year of treatment that included six surgeries, he learned in 2018 that he was cancer free.

Overy soon became a volunteer ambassador for Fight Colorectal Cancer, an organization that pushes for advocacy and research. In his free time, he helps spread awareness.

“Everyone knows what the pink ribbon is, but not a lot of people know about the blue ribbon,” he said. “We are trying to change policies so that everyone, regardless of insurance, can be screened.”

Overy’s efforts led to him being recognized during halftime at a recent Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game, and being invited to play at the Cologuard Classic, a professional golf tournament.

He and other survivors also rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange last month.

Additionally, Overy’s photo is included in a Times Square billboard display in honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed in March.

Colleagues like Dan Demarino, a fellow Bay Village retail associate, aren’t surprised by the attention Overy has received.

“He spreads the word really well,” Demarino said. “Almost everyone we’ve worked with has gotten screened because of Jay putting the word out.”

Overy hopes his story inspires others to take action.

“Know your body,” he said. “Be aware of colorectal cancer symptoms and get tested. Colonoscopies are way easier than colon cancer.”

Positive impact

Small-Business Director Mary Anderson

My name is Mary Anderson, and I’m the Postal Service’s small-business director. I help the organization serve the nation’s 28 million small businesses, ensuring they have excellent experiences when they interact with us.

I work at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, where I manage a team of marketers, sales support staff, business development specialists and analysts.

A cornerstone of our department is our employee lead programs. I’m so proud that we’ve been able to harness the power of our more than 500,000 frontline employees and their ability to engage with thousands of small businesses every day. Those interactions drive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually.

What I’m most impressed with is how we’ve evolved to become a more customer-centric organization. We understand that we have to compete every day to attract and retain our customers.

I’ve worked for more than 20 years in the logistics industry, but the Postal Service has offered me a chance to excel. During my early years at USPS, I was able to flex my marketing, analytical and creative skills by piloting and developing new products as part of the Innovations team.

Now I’m able to engage with small businesses to truly make a positive impact in their operations.

I have been with the Postal Service for 13 years, starting as Greensboro District’s sales manager.

I’m happily married to a wonderful man. I have a large family, two brothers and three sisters, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. We’re all very close. I love cooking and spending time with them.

The Postal Service is amazing organization and it is truly an honor to work here.

“On the Job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.

Risk reduction

Photo of packages and parcels

The Postal Inspection Service wants USPS employees to know about an online tool that makes it easier to track hazardous material incidents within the postal network.

The Mailpiece Incident Report Tool (MIRT) is a data repository for reporting leaks and spills, as well as hazardous material incidents at Postal Service facilities.

MIRT must be used to report:

  • Nonmailable mailpieces identified in the mailstream
  • Mailpieces rejected by air carriers
  • Spills or leaks from mailpieces that result in injury, illness, property damage or disruption to operations

The data collected in MIRT can be used to monitor trends and inform policy decisions. This critical information can also be used to educate customers and USPS employees on how to improve safety and reduce hazardous material incidents.

Employees who have questions can contact their local Postal Inspection Service homeland security coordinator listed under the Directory tab on the Transportation/Aviation Mail Security Blue page.

What’s on your mind?

Chicago Mail Handler Bessie Flemons stands near greeting cards

What did you think of Link’s story about Bessie Flemons, the Chicago mail handler who recently celebrated 50 years as a postal employee?

How about the recent explanation of advanced annual leave?

Did you pick up any helpful hints from the “Best Practices” article about Somerset, KY, Postmaster Mike Noritis and his efforts to help employees feel connected to the USPS mission? What did you learn from the “On the Job” profile of Detroit General Expeditor Bobby Wilkerson?

If you have feedback on these Link stories or any others, let us know. Email your comments to uspslink@usps.gov.

Your messages could be published in our “Mailbag” column. We also use your feedback to improve our coverage of the Postal Service.

Tell the Link team what’s on your mind. We look forward to hearing from you.