Bringing Men Back Into the Health Care System
A large percentage of men have only limited contact with physicians and the health care system as a whole. Men not only fail to get routine check-ups or preventive care, but often ignore symptoms or delay seeking medical attention when sick or in pain. These poor health habits take their toll – beginning at early ages and rising significantly as males reach retirement age.
Because INTEGRIS is determined to raise awareness of this “silent crisis” and turn the tide, they’ve implemented an innovative men’s health initiative, Men’s Health University (a.k.a. Men-U). It’s designed to educate men and their families on the importance of men taking charge of their own health. Established in 2004, Men-U consists of free screenings and information, physician seminars, an annual wellness fair, (the 2006 event drew more than 700 people), and this website devoted solely to men’s health.
By bringing men back into the health care system, INTEGRIS is helping them overcome one of their biggest health risks – that of just being a man. And knowledge is power. Even if males are aware of just two numbers, blood pressure and cholesterol, and take active steps to lower them if either reaches an unhealthy range, it can make a huge difference in their longevity.
Number of Preventable Deaths is Skyrocketing
We’ve always heard that men are the stronger sex, but when it comes to health issues, clearly that’s not the case. Men’s health is in the midst of a crisis – not just in Oklahoma, but across the U.S. The statistics are alarming:
- In Oklahoma, of women with same-age spouses, 14 percent will find themselves widows as they enter retirement (ages 65-69)
- At any age, men are 40 percent more likely to die than women
- Men make half as many doctor visits as women
- On average, women outlive men by 7 years
- 90 percent of women have a personal physician; only 66 percent of men do
We’ve reached the point where men’s health problems and early mortality have been accepted as fact or a way of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is much that men could do to lengthen their lives.
The INTEGRIS Men’s Health University (Men-U) is a nationally recognized leading best practice in the area of men’s health programs. Men-U staff also serve on the American Public Health Association’s Men’s Health Caucus, which addresses a wide range of men’s health topics, needs, and emerging trends and issues.
Men-U was created in 2004 and offers a series of events that take place throughout the year designed to educate men and their families on the importance of men taking charge of their own health. National statistics reveal:
- Men, on average, are living about 5 years less than their female counterparts
- One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
- Men die at a higher percentage from 9 out of the 10 top causes of death
INTEGRIS Men’s Health University hosts several men’s events throughout the year including the African American Men’s Health Summit in May, quarterly “Grilling for the Health of It,” and our 8th annual Men-U health fair which will be held September 17th at the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma.
Champions of Men's Health
Justin Sparkes, D.O.
INTEGRIS Family Care Edmond
Edmond, Oklahoma 73034
||Jonathan Schwartz, M.D.
INTEGRIS M.J. & S. Elizabeth Schwartz Sleep Disorders Center of Oklahoma
4200 S. Douglas Ave.
Medical Office Building, Suite 313
Oklahoma City, OK 73109