CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Clinic's Minority Men's Health Fair started eight years ago and the turnout was less than enthusiastic. Thirty five men showed up in 2003 for a health event targeting issues in the minority community. Thursday night, lines of men waiting for 30 different screenings could be seen throughout the Glickman Tower Great Hall.
Dozens of cots were set up in a room off the main hall while a long line zigzagged toward a woman who pointed out the next available health care worker. Blood was drawn providing a wide variety of tests.
Clarence Woods of University Heights attended the health screening event for the first time. Woods made sure he got a few specific tests.
"Definitely the prostate and also the colon, these things that happen to a lot of people of color at a large rate, that nobody knows, it's a silent killer."
The Cleveland Clinic's Minority Men's Health Center's mission is to eliminate disparities in minority men by not only treating preexisting medical conditions, but also by providing minority and underserved patients with the tools to prevent the onset of conditions that may be preventable or controllable if recognized early.
Charles Modlin, M.D. is the director of the center.
"For some reason, men are less likely to want to go to the doctor, there's a reluctancy. We need to encourage men to understand the importance of preventative health screenings," said Modlin.
There are diseases and conditions that hit African-American men sooner than white men.
"African-American males, for example, need to start screening a full decade earlier than white males for prostate cancer because there's a two times greater incidence of death from prostate cancer." added Modlin.
The Clinic offers weekly services through its Minority Men's Health Center. Services for the event held every Wednesday are not free, but costs are based upon income and household size.
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