Starting in 2014, being sick won’t keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more because of your condition. It can’t refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions.
This is true even if you have been turned down or refused coverage due to a pre-existing condition in the past.
The only exception is for grandfathered individual health insurance plans–the kind you buy yourself, not through an employer. If you have one of these plans you can switch to a Marketplace plan during open enrollment and get coverage for your pre-existing condition
You can apply for Health Insurance Marketplace insurance when open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.
Be sure not to miss open enrollment
Open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014. Outside of open enrollment, you can’t enroll in Marketplace coverage unless you have a qualifying life event.
Find out what you can do now to get ready to enroll.
Pre-existing conditions with Medicaid and CHIP
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP) also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition.
When we’re stressed out, we tend to take small, shallow breaths. Or we even hold our breath.
Of course, this only exacerbates anxiety. We feel faint, lightheaded, tense and tight. Taking slow, deep breaths, however, soothes your sympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation. This can lower blood pressure and heart rate. And it can reduce stress hormones.
Remember to say today: My Mental Health Is Happy, Positive And Optimistic.
light tap. A spank on the tush. A smack of the hand. A firm grab. Different forms and different degrees of physical punishment are commonplace across many American households.
However, experts now say those disciplinary tactics may not be as harmless as once thought.
New research suggests — despite earlier conversations about its effects on mental health — that physical punishment also affects physical health later on in life.
Other studies have shown a link between traumatic events, such as child abuse, and subsequent health problems, but the data out this week takes a look at this particular parenting practice.
“If we construe physical punishment as traumatic to a child, it is certainly plausible that physical punishment could lead to both mental and physical health problems,” says Dr. Jacqueline Smith, child and adolescent psychiatrist at University of North Carolina Hospitals.
The report looked at physical punishment that was considered harsh (pushing, grabbing, slapping, hitting) but not severe enough to be considered child abuse. It found that those exposed to harsh physical punishment had higher rates of obesity and arthritis in adulthood, and a slight connection with heart disease.
Is spanking cultural?
Despite the fact that more than 30 countries have banned corporal punishment, the United States has not, and the practice spans socioeconomic statuses, race and ethnicity.
But, of all groups, African-American families — the same group who suffers more from obesity and heart disease — have been shown to utilize physical punishment more often than other families. However, there is no clear data that says that physical punishment is the reason for these complicated disparities.
“Some see corporal punishment as the legacy of African-Americans’ violent past as slaves in this country,” says Smith. “Some African-American parents feel that because this disciplinary strategy seemingly worked for them, it will work for their own children.”
For others, the practice is viewed as prescribed by religion, Smith continues, as in Proverbs 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
“Other African-American parents feel that the academic, social and legal consequences for their children’s bad behavior are so high, that they must ensure obedience and good behavior by any means, including physical punishment,” says Smith.
Not all bad
Physical punishment might not be all negative.
According to Smith, a light tap, for example, can actually help small children make a connection between bad behavior and consequences when they can’t yet communicate with words.
“However, that potential benefit comes with the risk of instilling fear in your children,” she says. “Further, it can lead to excessively harsh discipline, which has repeatedly been linked to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children. [And it] isn’t particularly effective.”
The researchers of the study recommend that physical punishment be avoided for all children based on their findings and suggest widespread dissemination of its potential harms. Their hope is that parents will find alternate ways of parenting.
Smith frequently suggests such alternatives.
“I emphasize the importance of providing clear expectations, being consistent and swift in the application of consequences, and using consequences appropriate to the situation,” she says.
For example, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests a natural consequence for the teenager that stays up too late: being tired and still having to go to school. Other consequences for problem behaviors could include losing privileges or screen time, time outs or writing repetitive sentences.
Smith adds: “I also strongly encourage parents to reward positive behaviors and spend good quality time with their children to decrease the risk that they’ll have to give consequences in the first place.”
Many years ago a makeup line adopted the slogan – “You’re worth it.” While seemingly simple, for many people it is easy to forget that investing in oneself is a good investment.Whether that investment is in education, enhancing relationships, seeing projects through to completion or working out, you are worth it!
One of the biggest lies that the devil tells us on a regular basis is that somehow, for whatever reason “We aren’t worth it.” The enemy seeks to make people, especially selfless, hardworking people, feel guilty about anything that they do for themselves. Many of you like me may have suffered through seasons of life where you sacrificed your own needs to meet the needs of others. To be clear, I am not speaking of the many sacrifices that spouse make for one other or how (good) parents take seriously the needs of their children. I am talking about the everyday personal care needs that often take a back seat to help others when in fact we will be better for everyone else if we attended to these needs first.
Recently I lost 75 pounds by changing my diet. I, however, simply refused to work out – until I hit a plateau and wasn’t losing anymore weight. I then realized that I was going to have to work out in order to lose the next 75. Annoyed and with an admittedly bad attitude, I joined a gym. After being dragged in the gym by a member of the congregation who is way too happy, way too early in the morning -I began working out.
I soon realized that I wasn’t going to die.Although I was active there was a mental roadblock about working out. I soon realized that even at the first work out I was able to do a few miles on the bike in addition to more than a mile on the treadmill plus weights. It was then that I realized how much time I had wasted not trusting that I could do it and that I was worth it.
One day, I had an early morning appointment to check on someone else. The first thought I had was, “I can’t workout today.” Abandoning my workout wasn’t going to help me and it wasn’t going to help the other person. I recognized that once again I was mentally prepared to do less for myself in order to do more for others.
The reality is that when I take care of myself I am far more able to help others and so we both are blessed by my self-care. I went to work out. I had to abbreviate the workout but I went and that was significant. This concept can be applied to so many areas.
Many people find themselves in difficult financial situations because they have negated their own needs to rescue everyone else. Others have no peace in their home because they are seemingly running a hotel for all of their relatives that don’t feel like paying their own rent. Still others abandon their dreams of an education as they focus solely on today’s paycheck rather than invest in the education needed to make future paychecks much larger.
God, through His son made us worthy. He told each and every one of us that we were fearfully and wonderfully made! Not because we were a certain size, race or complexion but simply because we were made in His image.We look like Him!
Every day you wake up remember that you are worth it! Take time for yourself and get on the path to health and wellness physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally. There are 90,000 adults over 25 in Milwaukee who need to get a G.E.D. before the rules change in December. Yes 90,000. Start working on it! You are worth it. Many of us need a vacation – take it! You’re worth it. Others need to join me at the gym. Come on and join! You’re worth it!
The New World Griots
Legendary local poetry group paved the way for today’s spoken word scene
Just like the myriad of health issues and challenges that abound in our community, the MCJ has a diverse group of health and education/business professionals it is honoring this year at its 37th annual anniversary brunch, to be held Sunday August 2 at the Italian Conference Center.
Just as diverse as the honorees are the students who are receiving continued support from the Dr. Terence N. Thomas Scholarship Fund (TNTSF) to pursue higher education, including post-graduate work.
The brunch’s proceeds support the scholarship fund, which in turns supports students from our community from start to finish, as well as post graduate work and professional schools.
And there are multiple success stories as a result of the TNTSF.
Dr. Christopher Webb has completed a fellowship in anesthesiology; Atty. Trudy Brooks graduated from UW Madison last year; Rev. Justin R. Lester is now a Theological Master aspiration at Vanderbilt School of Theology; Courtney Jones completed her Masters in Social Work.
This year, four graduates, with one continuing in a Master’s program and one beginning the Medical College of Wisconsin, will receive scholarship dollars.
TNT Scholarship students graduate and most continue in post graduate studies, including Caroline Walker now a third year Pharmaceutical aspirant at UW Madison.
This week we start a series of profiles on this year’s honorees. The first profile is of Milwaukee’s The New World Griots, whose years of service in promoting the arts, literature, culture as a way of ensuring mental and artistic health.
The Griots will be at the brunch to sign copies of their new book, “The Legacy: A Soulful Collection of Poetry and Prose.”
Individuals interested in attending the event can call the MCJ offices, 414-265-5300, for ticket information.
Tickets are $90 each, with the proceeds going to the TNTSF. $32,000 in scholarships will be awarded to the brightest of the bright during the brunch.
In West African culture, both historically and today, a tribe member holds the title of griot— someone who is combination historian-musician-storyteller.
Griots were trusted advisors to the West Africa kings. This tradition can be traced to the 7th century. The first was Sowahata or Swahata, a poet and confidant of the Prophet Mohammed. Every king had a Griot to recite the history of the kingdom, which was passed down from father to son. History was not written down – everything was memorized and recited or sung.
When griots spoke, they were often accompanied by the kora (a harp-like stringed instrument), drumming and/or the handclapping of the villagers. Sometimes a smaller, stringed instrument was also used and is thought to be the precursor of the banjo.
The griot might speak for hours, recanting some of the memorized history, passed from griot to griot for generations. There is a West African saying that “when a griot dies, a library has burned to the ground.”
Milwaukee is fortunate to have its own griots—the New World Griots—who not only continue to perform throughout the community, but have left a remarkable legacy in the hearts of Milwaukeeans, as well as a tangible collection of creative works called, “The Legacy: A Soulful Collection of Poetry and Prose.”
Of significance is that the book is dedicated to Folami Abiade, a member of the New World Griots (Griots) who not only contributed to the book, but also lost her long battle with cancer one week short of seeing the collection published.
The summer prior to the book’s publication, the Griots— who no longer performed as a group—got together to support and fellowship with Folami who had moved to Atlanta some years before and returned for extended visits with her mother and family while she battled cancer.
During that summer, Reggie Finlayson, Faye Jackson and Charles McClain, visited Folami regularly and they worked tirelessly to complete “The Legacy.”
In their heyday—the early 80s and 90s—the Griots performed at many popular venues throughout the city, from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee to the Performing Arts Center, to Milwaukee Area Technical College and every night and hot spot in between.
The Griots were creative, sensitive intellectuals who sought to capture and share their thoughts, feelings, brokenness and insight with the world. They came together with an uncommon kinship that transcended egos, to meld their time, talent and treasures into captivating, unique and thought-provoking performances.
“In 1980-1981 after Sheila Payton and I had a conversation about the need for a writers’ critique group, the notion of the New World Griots was born,” said Reggie Finlayson. “Venora McKinney who headed up the Martin Luther King Library at the time, provided us with meeting space at the library. We met regularly, critiquing each other’s works and ultimately moved into performances of dramatic readings.
James Cameron (Black Holocaust Museum), Willie Abney, and others started reading and performing all over the city, with the goal of supporting one another and communicating a positive Black message. Originally, there were about 15 of us,” said Finlayson.
The New World Griots continued to be in high demand for their creative, vibrant and historical performances until about the late 90s when many of them went off into different directions and careers, though they all stayed in contact with each other and, to this day, continue to work on projects together.
Reggie said that some members of the group were not writers, but actors, and they welcomed everyone. There was an uncanny spirit of camaraderie among them that is absent in today’s world.
Moreover, because they sometimes met at each other’s homes, one of the residuals of the Griots is that their children got to know each other and they became friends—creating a sort of extended family for themselves and their children.
Born Sharon Lee Bryant, Folami means “honor and respect me,” two things Folami didn’t necessarily demand, but received because she earned it. A graduate of West Division High School, Mrs. Jeanette Bryant, Folami’s mother, said that her daughter had always written poetry and she began submitting it to publications when she was a teenager.
“Everyone in the family is an avid reader and writing was a natural extension of that,” said Mrs. Bryant.
Unsure of her career path, after high school Folami went to school and became a licensed practical nurse.
After moving to Maryland for a while, Folami returned to Milwaukee, completed her bachelor’s degree in communications and continued on to earn her master’s degree. After graduation she worked in the field of human resources for a number of years.
Eventually she moved to Atlanta, where she lived for more than 10 years teaching at a number of colleges including Georgia State University, preparing students for life skills and career placement. At one point, she even taught English at the University of South China for eight months.
According to her mother, Folami was happiest and most proud when she was teaching.
“She always saw herself as an older professor teaching younger students and she absolutely loved it. She extended her teaching beyond the classroom and taught in shelters, coaxing people to journal their experiences and encouraging them to move forward in their lives. She encouraged them to write their goals and destiny down so that when they reached them, they would have documented their journey,” said Mrs. Bryant.
Folami was also an avid photographer and she would capture her experiences in pictures to share with others, allowing others to see the world through her sensitive and creative eyes.
Mrs. Bryant recounted that after a niece visited Folami in Atlanta she voiced her concern about her aunt’s pain, prompting other relatives to check on her and convince her to go to the doctor. She had had her spine reconstructed earlier, but it wasn’t until 2009 when doctors finally diagnosed her condition as multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a hematologic cancer, or cancer of the blood.
In 2012, Folami traveled to Milwaukee where she received a seven-week treatment at Froedtert Hospital.
During this time, she continued to pack as much into her life as she was able—attending a group called First World Writers, going to Toastmaster’s and collaborating with the New World Griots to get their work published.
She self-published two books of poetry and one of her poems, “In Daddy’s Arms” was published by intergenerational poetry. Her poem is also used as the title of that book.
“She enjoyed her life. We tried to handle her with kid gloves, but she insisted on handling what she could handle, as long as she could handle it. She was an encourager—even in her illness, she encouraged us and others,” said Mrs. Bryant.
Just one week shy of the publication of “The Legacy,” Folami succumbed to cancer. A draft copy of her portion of the book arrived 15 hours after she passed away on December 15, 2012.
Folami was a change agent. She was a connector who was outspoken about life and passionate about the written and spoken word.
She made her mark in Milwaukee and in the hearts and lives of those she touched—from speaking life into her sister Leslie’s second grade students via the telephone, to encouraging her daughter, Tanganyika Weathers and grandson, Jelani Weathers, to pick up and carry on the griot legacy as they follow her footsteps with a love for writing poetry.
For the past 20 years Reggie Finlayson, one of the original founders of the New World Griots, has taught at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Today, he continues to perform, sometimes with the Ko-Thi Dance Company and sometimes solo, but always—ALWAYS—performing with the same energy, enthusiasm, commitment and passion that he did when he first began in the early 1980s.
Reggie sees his role as a griot and that of an educator as naturally intertwined. While he admits that he is not an African American historian, he is intrigued with African American history and intersperses it with the literature and English classes he teaches at MATC, making for an interesting and vibrant class for his students. Reggie has also published several books for young readers, including one on the Civil Rights Movement.
The father of two daughters—30 and 24—Reggie is curious, adventurous and daring in his approach to life. Thanks, in part, to a daughter who works with one of the airlines, he travels often, leaving him with very few items on his bucket list left to do. Whether he is climbing Mt. Fuji with his daughter or kayaking on the Florida coast, Reggie lives life to the fullest.
He credits Tejumola “Teju” Ologboni and Gil Scott-Heron for influencing him and his work.
“I watched Teju over the years and was strongly influenced by him and his storytelling. I loved how both were able to mix poetry, music and storytelling. I definitely have to give props to Teju for helping me refine my performances and delivery,” said Reggie.
Reggie believes that the work of the New World Griots planted the seeds for Milwaukee’s active poetry scene today.
“I think the work of the Griots definitely helped establish that foundation. Different people have acknowledged the work of the Griots.
“We stood on the shoulders of James Baldwin, Zora Neal Hurston and others Black writers of the 40s and 50s. And today, those individuals in Milwaukee who are active in the poetry scene are standing on our shoulders,” he said.
“I am aware of W. E. DuBois’ notion of double consciousness (cognitive dissonance), which, simply put, is while I am black, I am other things as well. We don’t have to buy into the stereotypes about Black people.
“We are scholarly, in tune and precise about our work and it helps to project an image that counters the stereotypes that the only authentic Black person is a thug.
Part of the message of the Griots was about relationships and struggles that people were/are dealing with— discrimination, challenges facing women—psychological, physical abuse, and general relationships and other lifestyle issues. In that regard, our message had an impact on the health of the community as well,” said Reggie.
Reggie said that during the 80s and 90s the arts—the Griots’ performances— helped connect them and those who attended their performances with a broader world and a different way of viewing the world.
Because the Griots were primarily comprised of women, they addressed such topics as inequality, abusive relationships, and respect, providing them with a vehicle to vent injustices and discrimination, while imparting a sense of pride, history and encouragement to audiences.
Reggie said that he hopes he and the Griots are remembered as individuals who contributed to the community in a meaningful way and helped to push the community further along the path of freedom and full citizenship in America and the world.
Charles McClain considers himself a latecomer to the Griots. He joined the Griots in 1984 after Folami interviewed him about his work. Writing poetry since the age of 15, Charles is currently writing his second book of poetry. Charles refers to himself as an author and blue-collar worker, and though he may not have attended college, he has honed his gift in the school of life. He readily admits to being a recovering alcoholic and today fights his demons and quiets his struggles with pen and paper, or other positive outlets such as performing in theater, doing understudy work at the Milwaukee Repertory or conducting writers’ workshops.
Some years ago, Charles said that he and Folami had a conversation about her academic successes and degrees and he confided to her that he felt she had so much more to offer the world because of her education. She shushed him and told him that she learned so much from him because he had so much common sense, which led him to write this:
“The educated man or woman, who lacks common sense, is one of the most frightening human beings you will ever have to deal with.”
While he may not have a PhD from an institution of higher learning, Charles has earned an honorary degree from a lifetime of experiences— good and bad.
Not only has he had quadruple bypass surgery, but he is also a cancer survivor. Now cancer-free for 13 years, he had a lymphoid tumor—the result of having smoked for so many years—a habit he kicked in 1996.
Today, Charles is determined to make his life matter and touch the lives of others to make sure they know that they matter.
Since going through his cancer treatment in 2000 at St. Mary’s Hospital, he regularly visits the hospital and other clinics, sharing his “There’s no reason to write poetry or do any art form unless it’s to make a difference. That’s what I try to do— help people see how precious life is and the beauty of this time God has given us, and how we need to use it wisely.
The things that I went through in life got me to this point—to more clearly see and experience the possibilities and how important it is to enjoy every single moment. There is nothing greater than today,” he said.
Charles knows who he is, understands his gift and respects his roots.
“When I perform, people are often surprised to hear me say that I was a janitorial supervisor (he’s now retired). I can tell by the expressions on their faces. I get a kick out of watching them.
Ultimately, I want them to understand that janitorial work is what I do for a living. Who you are is different from what you do. We all have different gifts that God has given us; and God is using me—regardless of what I do for a living. We tend to try to put people in a box.
My parents were sharecroppers— I’m not ashamed of that. That is what they did and that’s how they made a living. I’m not ashamed of them. I take pride in having parents that gave a damn!
And, Charles, Milwaukee takes pride in your many artistic accomplishments and how you have sowed into the creative fabric of this community.
Faye (Fayemi) Jackson Faye Jackson has been writing since she was about 13 years old and it must be in her genes because she discovered that her mother was a ‘closet writer.’
“I became entrenched with the Griots when, during a trip to the library, I saw a flyer about a writer’s group meeting. So I joined the group of about 35-40 people who would come together to read and critique each other’s work. Eventually, there was interest in forming a group to perform and I kept coming to the meetings and agreeing to go along with them to perform. There were about 15 of us who would go to perform at the Jazz Gallery, the Pabst, the PAC and we went to schools and colleges. It was a wonderful experience. We were very in tune with each other.” said Faye.
When she is not writing Faye designs accessories and clothes for Golden Thread, a custom apparel shop.
“Creativity runs through my veins I guess. My mother and sister both sew,” she said.
Faye said that being involved with the New World Griots helped her understand the importance of culture and religion and how, sometimes they are the same.
“As Griots, I believe our work over the years has reflected on the many feelings and reactions of our people to this environment,” said Faye.
“I learned how important culture and religion are to the human spirit and I always have to have a song (in my spirit)—a shower song, a cleanup song. I pay attention to life because things that happen in the blink of an eye cause me to create something. So much of that spirit was occurring in the 80s and 90s, and even now.
“For example, the racial discrimination and inequality that happens, breaks people’s heart and spirits and causes them to be speechless or feel hopeless. Words, poems, and songs give life and meaning to those things that we can’t always verbalize; they provide an outlet or vehicle for response,” she said.
While Faye still performs solo and sometimes with a group, she acknowledges that the New World Griots definitely had collective chemistry.
“We enjoyed each other so much and appreciated each other’s art. Through our art, we voiced some of the anger, feelings, and emotions of the time. We were able to capture and express that in our art. We were in the moment; each poem that we wrote, told the story of that time,” said Faye.
Faye recalls the summer of July 2012 when the New World Griots got together for what would be the last time with Folami in their midst.
“We were such prolific writers it was easy to put a book together. Charles and Folami had such an overwhelming feeling of death because they were both facing health challenges, so there was a real urgency to get ‘The Legacy’ completed. Even though Folami did not live to see the final product, she knew that the book—her poems and legacy—would be completed.
“We were rehearsing at her mom’s house all the time; that inspired her and kept her mind off the pain. She enjoyed reading the book; it brought her a lot of pleasure,” said Faye.
And thanks to the creative, art, sensitivity and vision of the New World Griots, Milwaukee will be able to find pleasure in reading the profound words of Folami, Reggie, Charles and Faye for generations to come. They look forward to encouraging and inspiring the next generation of Griots. The universe demands it.
Hampton, Va. – Hampton University President William R. Harvey announced today that Hampton University has received $13.5 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to combat and reduce selective health disparities in minority men.
Hampton University will serve as the lead institution on the initiative and has asked several other historically black colleges and universities to partner in the implementation and advancement of innovative transdisciplinary research to effectively reduce health disparities in minority men. The other universities involved are Jackson State, Clark Atlanta; Howard, North Carolina A&T and St. Augustine.
Hampton University Men’s Health Initiative is focused on reducing health disparities, however, the ultimate goal is to improve the health of all Americans. For example, according to the American Cancer Society African-American men have a 59 percent higher incident rate of prostate cancer than white men. The Hampton University leadership believes that ones health and longevity should not be dependent on where you live, socioeconomic status, gender or race and ethnicity.
This Initiative has identified six areas to receive a comprehensive approach to narrowing the gender gap of health disparities. These areas are prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, melanoma in Hispanics and violence prevention. The researchers will implement a sustainable and transferrable collaborative research model in all of the six areas to positively influence the healthy outcomes of minority men.
“African-American men are disproportionately affected by major health issues,” Harvey said. “This important initiative will focus on research, education, training, and intervention outreach.”
Harvey praised the Hampton Team for their hard work and said, “this could not have been done without the leadership of Dr. Pamela V. Hammond and the Hampton team of Drs. JoAnn W. Haysbert, Charrita D. Danley, Elnora D. Daniel, Raymond Samuel, Nicholas Kenney, Linda Malone-Colon, Bertha Davis, Patricia Sloan and Ms. Alisa Rodgers. “
Samuel, will serve as the principal investigator and Kenney, the co-principal investigator.
“Health disparities among African-American men are striking and apparent in longevity and death rates,” said Samuel. “We are very pleased that this initiative was funded by the NIH and we are ready to go to work.
There have been many changes in the United States the past decade: health care reform, the housing crisis, and high unemployment rates. But the view from black America, especially in terms of health care and positive financial attitudes, seems to actually be improving, said new survey results from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR reported.
The latest study asked 1,081 African-American participants in the South or in urban areas their opinions on a wide range of issues: finances, personal health, their communities, dating lives and much more. (This sample roughly matched the demographics of African Americans in the country on a broad spectrum, according to researchers.) The results, when compared with those from a similar poll in 2002, yielded some interesting findings.
In 2002, only about 25 percent of survey respondents said they were “very satisfied” with their care options. Today, 47 percent of African Americans approved of the health care system. What’s more, two thirds of poll participants said they believed that the last time they or a family member got sick, they were treated by one of the best doctors in their community.
The survey also showed that although government figures from 2011 said one in five African Americans were uninsured, the number of survey participants who said they or a family member couldn’t get medical care decreased since 2006, from one in five to about one in eight.
But even with improvements in health care access and positive outlooks in the black community, some areas of concern haven’t seen such stunning advancements. Nearly 20 percent of survey respondents said high blood pressure and stroke were the biggest health problems for their families. Another 19 percent of African Americans in the same survey cited diabetes as their greatest health threat.
WASHINGTON, DC – Mayors throughout the nation are promoting Men’s Health Week (www.menshealthweek.org) as a means of raising awareness about the health challenges faced by men and boys. This week is a special awareness period first recognized by Congress in 1994 and celebrated around the globe since 2002. The goal is to educate men, boys, and those who love them about preventable health problems and to encourage them to get more actively involved in their own health care. Early detection and treatment save lives.
“We want to thank the many mayors who have join in to celebrate Men’s Health Week in their cities,” said Ana Fadich, MHN Vice President. “By focusing on the health and well-being of men and boys in their own communities, they are able to encourage others to also pay more attention to the health of the men in their lives. Healthier men lead to stronger and happier families.” Men’s Health Week gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with hundreds of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.
“During my career in the NBA, it was always a priority to make sure I was in top physical condition. Now as mayor I am glad that I could add my voice to that of Men’s Health Network to break the silence and raise awareness of this very important issue in our community – the health and well-being of men and boys,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento. “I encourage everyone in our community, in particular the men, to go in for a checkup.”
“We recognize the importance of improving the health and well-being of men and boys in our city; when we raise healthier boys who turn into healthy adults, families in our communities become stronger as well,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis. “I invite all citizens of Minneapolis to celebrate Men’s Health Week in June by going in for a checkup or by setting an appointment for the men you care about.”
“Men’s Health Week in Cleveland will focus on a broad range of men’s health issues including, heart disease, diabetes, prostate, testicular and colon cancer,” said Cleveland Mayor, Frank G. Jackson, in the proclamation. “The city of Cleveland Department of Public Health will continue its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical checkups in the Cleveland community.”
Question of the Week: How important is your health to you? What are you doing to stay healthy?
Photos & Question by Yvonne Kem
Nathan Conyers: “Just like death, every living human being has a date with illness. And whether health issues afflect you when you are young or old, it impedes your ability to take care of yourself. Having been ill for an extended period of time, I recognized how critical it was to have caring and understanding loved ones to assist me during recovery. Taking medication responsibly, wanting to get well, were also key ingredients that aided me during recovery.”
Doris Dobson: “My health is very important to me. I exercise everyday with my daughter and at the Clinton and Bernice Rose Center every other day and walk two miles (a day). I just joined the stepping class.”
Bennie Bowie: “My health is my life. I exercise every week at Holy Redeemer. I do home care for the elderly and I volunteer at the Clinton and Bernice Rose Center and Hunger Task Force. I love people!”
George Neal: “My health is very important to me. I ride a stationary bicycle everyday and a twist machine three times a week. I lost 113 pounds so I watch my food intake to maintain my weight loss.”