More than 200 community members of all backgrounds attended Men’s Diversity Health Awareness Day during men’s health month in June. The event was hosted by Carolinas HealthCare System and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Attendees received free health screenings and participated in discussions with local and national experts. It aimed to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining good health, of keeping to a schedule of regular preventative screenings and of establishing lasting relationships with care providers who can be partners in health.
“The mission of Carolinas HealthCare System is to enrich the healthcare needs of all community members, in particular those who are underserved,” said James E. Taylor, PhD, chief diversity officer for Carolinas HealthCare System. “Through events like our health awareness day, we encourage men of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to sustain and improve their health in ways that are convenient and that provide them with a positive experience.”
Nationally-renowned health expert Ian Smith, MD, was the keynote speaker and addressed attendees about the importance of awareness and of healthy living. Dr. Smith was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition by President Obama and has authored several bestselling books, including “The Fat Smash Diet” and “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet,” which he signed at the event.
Dr. Smith also joined a panel of Carolinas HealthCare System medical experts who answered questions about men’s health, particularly as it relates to the challenges facing minority populations. The panel included Philippe Zamor, MD, hepatology and internal medicine physician, and Robert Jones, MD, primary care sports medicine fellowship director, and moderator, Alisahah Cole, MD, residency director.
“Health education and wellness activities are vital to building and to sustaining strong communities,” said Patrick Griffin, vice president of patient financial services for Carolinas HealthCare System. “We want community members to know that Carolinas HealthCare System is concerned about their well-being and that we strive to provide excellent care, regardless of ability pay.”
Minority males can encounter greater challenges in preventing and treating health conditions and chronic illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these men are at greater risk of having uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure), being obese and dying from ailments like heart disease and stroke. They also are more likely to be uninsured and hospitalized for preventable health events.