African American Men's Health Summit Huge Success
Feb. 25-Hurley Medical Center kicked off its Men's Health Initiative today with the African American Men's Health Summit held at Ebenezer Ministries in Burton. The free event attracted approximately 100 men and provided health screenings for cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar, vision and dental.
Men's Health Summit participant getting his blood pressure
checked by a clinician from the Genesee County Black Nurses Association
Dwayne Parker, Men's Health Summit Organizer and Director of Community Marketing at Hurley Medical Center, said that most men don't see their doctors when something is wrong until it is too late. "These screenings are absolutely critical in really getting started with your health check-up," Parker said. He added that it made sense to have this event during February, because it is Black History month, and that it is important to focus on the health disparities in the minority population. "We thought it would be very appropriate to launch an African American Men's Health Summit to really get men of color concerned about their health and make it a personal priority."
Members of the Genesee County Black Nurses Association and Hurley Medical Center Health and Wellness Team checking blood pressure
Dawn Hiller, Hurley Medical Center's Wellness Services Director, was part of a group effort that screened the men's cholesterol levels as well as blood glucose levels. Hiller said that the participants were given their results that same day and were advised how they could change their diets and seek treatment if needed. She said that it was important for men to pay close attention to their health so that serious illness could be prevented and treated.
"Guys don't pay attention to their health," Hiller said. "Typically, guys grow up falling down, scratching their knees and then hearing somebody say, 'Get up, you're fine, don't worry about it.' That's the mentality they have as time goes on. What they need to realize is that paying attention to health risk issues can prevent illness and disease and can help enhance their quality of life."
Pastor Reggie Flynn of Foss Avenue Baptist Church Dr. Derek Griffith, PhD, Associate Professor
and Pastor Mickarl Thomas of Mt. Vernon Chapel AME Church at UM-Ann Arbor, School of Public Health
The African American Men's Health Summit was part of Hurley's new Men's Health Initiative that centers around transforming the health of men in Genesee County. The hospital plans to partner with local businesses, colleges, universities, organizations, and associations to bring health screenings and healthy lifestyle messages and to the community, Parker said. He added that Hurley's initiative has already partnered with Genesee County Community Mental Health, Hamilton Community Health Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Plus, American Cancer Society, University of Michigan-Flint, Mott Community College, Genesee County Health Department, Genesee Health Plan and the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
There will be three more Men's Health Initiative events this year. On June 16 at Atwood Stadium in Flint, there will be a Men's Health Expo featuring cars, trucks, sports, and more. Mark Ingram, Flint native, NFL football player and Heisman Trophy winner, will speak at the event. There will also be events in September and November.