Thousands Attended Men’s Health Week

Here are some of the Brooklyn Health Center staff members who were so helpful during Men’s Health Week. From left to right are: Phlebotomists Herby Guillaume, Takiya Jones, and Adelyne Sanchez, Patient Experience Advocate Ingrid Zapata, Supervisor Mosha Snagg, Phlebotomists Melissa Rodriguez and Sherries Rodriguez, Patient Experience Advocate Rodney Jacques, and Phlebotomist Denise Marcus.

November 25, 2019 1:12 PM

Good health is on the minds of many HTC members, if attendance at this year’s Men’s Health Week is any indication. The event was held at the Health and Dental Centers from Tuesday, September 10 until Friday, September 13, and thousands of members participated.

Staff members were delighted by the strong attendance, calling it further evidence that members are paying attention to health issues. The importance of this can not be emphasized enough. Over the years Men’s Health Week has detected issues like high blood pressure, and others, of which the affected members had been totally unaware. That alone is one big advantage found in attending the event.

But there are others. The theme of this year’s Men’s Health Week was “Wide World of Sports,” with an emphasis of sports that are available to men at easy-access public facilities. There was also information on sports played in other countries, activities with which many may not be familiar. The purpose of this emphasis on sports, of course, is to show fun ways to keep active. As an example, a 20-minute game of competitive racquet ball or tennis may burn more calories than a 20-minute jog. To go along with this year’s sports theme, every visitor to Men’s Health Week received a gift bag with a water bottle and other useful items, and more than 100 gym bags were give away as raffle prizes.

Men who visited one of the Health Centers for Men’s Health Week were able to have their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. Maintaining safe blood pressure and cholesterol levels, eating a healthy diet and getting moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise at least four times a week will definitely help you live a longer and healthier life. There was information available on all these health measures. We should add that while some men learned for the first time that they had high blood pressure, they also learned that it can be easily controlled with medication and with diet and exercise. If left untreated, however, it can lead to severe problems like strokes, heart attacks and kidney ailments.

Also available to men who visited the Health Centers for Men’s Health Week were tests that could  detect early signs of cancer. These tests are important because on more than a few occasions in the past indications of early stages of cancer were detected in some men who visited during Men’s Health Week. These men were directed to the appropriate medical care and are doing fine now. That’s why it can be truthfully said that visits to Men’s Health Week can save lives.

Smoking was also an issue discussed during Men’s Health Week. As we all know, there are many serious medical conditions associated with smoking, and they are often fatal. The same is true about vaping, a newer activity advertised as safer than smoking but that is proving to also cause serious illness. It should be added that both these habits can be remarkably expensive. The average smoker is expected to spend more than $200,000 on the habit in a lifetime, and that figure may not include the cost of health intervention.

As those who visited during Men’s Health Week learned, the Health Centers and MHAP have several intervention methods to help members stop smoking, including prescription medications and smoking cessation programs. Quite a few members have had success in quitting by using one of these methods. Further information is always available at the Health Centers and MHAP, which have been praised by the New York City Department of Health for the success of their smoking cessation programs.

Men’s Health Week also provided the opportunity to remind visitors about flu shots. In fact, every man (and woman) age 50 or older and others at high risk should get a flu shot every year. There are other immunizations men should know about. As an example, men who work with or near sharp instruments like cooks and dishwashers might want to consider getting a tetanus shot every five to ten years. Other men, where appropriate, should consider being immunized against Hepatitis B, pneumonia, shingles and other ailments.

Members Arturo Herrera, Leo Lei and Sarfraz Mohamed receiving Medicare information and Men’s Health Week gift bags from Queens Health Center Caregiver Jaipaul Latchmine.

There was also information available about a condition few talk about: depression. As Men’s Health Week visitors learned, depression does not have to be a debilitating condition, especially because medications and therapy are readily available. The Members Health Assistance Program (MHAP) can help those suffering from depression, as can the doctors at the Health Center. It is also important to remember that alcohol and drug abuse make depression worse, but are conditions that can be treated. MHAP can help members overcome dependence on drugs and alcohol, as well as addiction to gambling and other issues.

Having a regular doctor is also important, a point that is always emphasized during Men’s Health Week. As we have explained in the past, members who have a regular doctor at their Health Center are more inclined to take advantage of the various defenses against illness such as flu shots, testing for blood pressure, cancer, etc.

There were information sheets available on a wide variety of other health issues during Men’s Health Week. Good nutrition and steady exercise were recommended, and for good reasons that were clearly explained. Information was available on stress management, diabetes and other topics.

There’s more. Firefighters from FDNY were on hand with very valuable health and safety lessons, There were Tai Chi instructions and exercises in Laughing Yoga. For those who aspire to be on Dancing with the Stars or simply want to keep fit by dancing there were Zumba instructors at Men’s Health Week,

Even members who didn’t attend Men’s Health Week can benefit from the event by learning about those who did. Want to lose a few pounds? Want to give up smoking? Want to decrease your risk for cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke or heart disease? Assistance is available for all of these things, as many members found out at Men’s Health Week.