By Stephen Wright, MD
June is Men’s Health Month! Across the US, Men’s Health Month is celebrated with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.
Image credit: menshealthnetwork.org
As we celebrate and support men’s health awareness, here is some information to consider, based on my experience as a provider at Whittier Street Health Center:
1. What are the top three health issues affecting men in our community?
Much like the rest of the nation, the top three health issues that we have recognized affecting men in our community are heart disease (including hypertension), cancer )including lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer), and diabetes.
Certainly rounding out some of the top men’s health issues are prostate health, erectile dysfunction, mental health, accidental injuries, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Other issues that we consider for our community are stress, violence, hazardous exposure and substance abuse.
2. What services does Whittier offer to raise awareness related to men’s health?
Mr. Sorel Bertrand, Men’s Health Program Manager, organizes Men’s Health Groups three times monthly. On Fridays, the group meets at the clinic. There are three groups: one in Haitian Criole, another in Spanish, and one in English, that discuss men’s issues. For each group, there is a guest speaker who is an expert in an area of men’s health concerns.
In each meeting, men are encouraged to go to their scheduled appointments with their health care providers.
There are Whittier outreach programs that have been organized at Logan Airport where taxi drivers and other men working at the airport are offered health screenings and educated on health topics. They are invited to the Men’s Health Clinic for health management and health insurance enrollment.
The outreach program also extends to churches and the health center’s Post-Prison Program, including transitional facilities that constitute a major portion of the Men’s Health Clinic.
The Whittier Street staff is incredibly supportive and instrumental in referring their patients, friends, and family members to the Men’s Health Clinic as well.
3. What are my top three tips to improve men’s health?
We encourage our men to be sure to follow up with their health care providers, we encourage them to have their health screenings, and the most important tip is to have each of them take ownership and responsibility for their health.
Whittier Street Health Center invites you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Whittier Wellness and Fitness Club and Men’s Health Summit on June 27th, 2015! The Honorable Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Tito Jackson will preside over the ribbon-cutting ceremony, following a keynote speech by Dr. Gene Lindsey. We hope to see you there!