The Wright Center Encourages Men to be Proactive

The Wright Center believes stereotypes aside, it’s safe to say that men often tend to be less proactive about their health than women.

That’s why public health campaigns like Men’s Health Month in June play an admirable role. The annual monthlong observance raises awareness on the many ways in which males – boys and adults – need to take charge of their health care.

June is also home to International Men’s Health Week, which took place last week, and June 14’s Wear Blue Day, which is sponsored by the Men’s Health Network and encourages individuals, organizations, and employers to wear blue and host awareness and/or fundraising events on behalf of the cause.

If we’re being honest, society hasn’t done the greatest job of promoting proactive health care among males, no matter the age group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for men in the United States is 5.4 years less than it is for women. Meanwhile, males are at a higher risk for a number of serious diseases, among them heart disease, lung cancer, and HIV, and experience illnesses completely unique to the gender, such as prostate cancer.

And for men from underrepresented groups, the numbers are even worse. So, it’s a good thing that for this year’s Men’s Health Month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is focused on bettering health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) men through its theme, “Be the Source for Better Health: Improving Health Outcomes Through Our Cultures, Communities, and Connections.” The initiative aims to understand better how the unique environments, cultures, histories, and circumstances – the social determinants of health or SDOH – of minority men impact their overall health.

OMH has committed to working with public health and community-based partners to provide racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN men and boys with high-quality medical care and services that are “responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, economic and environmental circumstances, and health literacy levels.” The thinking is that when patients are provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate information, they’ll ultimately have healthier outcomes for themselves, their families, and their communities as a whole. And by communities, we can certainly include our own right here in Northeast Pennsylvania.

With encouragement from health care professionals, as well as family members and friends, there’s no reason why men can’t adopt more healthful practices, whether it’s improving their diet and getting a gym membership or better managing their stress levels through yoga, meditation, or therapy. That also includes making a long-term investment in their medical care, from annual visits to their primary care physician to receiving regular prostate testing and colonoscopies, or Cologuard stool testing, to reduce the chance of metastatic prostate or colorectal cancer. Health education should also start at a very young age so families can instill the importance of lifelong healthy habits in their boys.

Most people do not seem to appreciate exercise’s profound impact on reducing the risk of most diseases and even slowing the aging process. Thirty minutes of exercise can prevent decline and decay for both men and women.

Let’s all do our part to promote better men’s health by encouraging the important men in our lives – fathers, husbands, sons, friends, coworkers, etc. – to take their long-term health seriously.

Douglas Klamp, M.D., is a board-certified internal medicine physician who serves as senior vice president, chief medical education officer, and physician chair of resident and fellow talent acquisition of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, as well as program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Klamp is accepting adult patients at The Wright Center for Community Health – Scranton, 501 S. Washington Ave.

Geisinger to Host Men’s Health Talk

To celebrate men’s health month, Geisinger urologists Ryan Mori, MD, and John Ramey, MD, will host a free PA Health Talk about erectile dysfunction, bladder cancer and prostate conditions.

The live discussion will be held at the Wilkes-Barre Penguins Practice Pavilion on June 12 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and will include a light dinner.

Everyone is welcome at this relaxed, casual event, including women who have questions about a loved one’s health.

It’s predicted that by 2025 over 300 million men will have erectile dysfunction, and 30 million men will be diagnosed this year. Treatment options can include medication and surgery. Men are also at risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with an individual’s risk of prostate cancer varying by age, race/ethnicity, and other factors.

Drs. Mori and Ramey will discuss multiple urological conditions, their causes and treatment options, followed by a question-and-answer session. Questions can be submitted ahead of time and will be asked anonymously.

Attendees interested in a tour of the practice facility should arrive by 5:10 p.m. The tour will start at 5:15 p.m.

Boston Scientific will also be there to showcase products used to help treat erectile dysfunction.

To register, visit Space is limited. The practice facility is located at 40 Coal St., Wilkes-Barre.