Gateway to Good Health

Published 8:58 am Monday, June 1, 2015

By John Fowler, M.D.

June is National Men’s Health Month, and the Gift of Life along with other organizations throughout the country are joining together to heighten awareness of preventable health disparities that commonly affect men. Along with hundreds of physicians, I strongly lend my voice to this critical initiative and urge all men to seek regular medical advice and preventive treatment for disease.
Despite advances in medical technology, American men live sicker and die younger than American women. A higher percentage of men have no healthcare coverage and make half as many preventive physician visits as women. Men also have a higher death rate for most of the leading causes of death.
As an internist, I can attest that prevention and awareness are the best weapons in our arsenal to battle this alarming trend. Just as men notice when our vehicles are not functioning properly, we must pay attention to our bodies’ signals and adopt healthy lifestyle habits that will keep our bodies tuned up.
All too often, I’ve treated men in my practice only when they are in incredible pain or face life-threatening complications. This scenario presents the physician with limited avenues of care and often results in a poor prognosis. We can do much more to proactively improve men’s health outcomes!
I encourage you to support the Gift of Life’s mission that addresses healthcare disparities among men and provides comprehensive health screenings for medically underserved men in Southeast Texas.
With a philanthropic network of medical professionals, the organization is hosting screening sites offering a full battery of primary care tests during the month of June. Eligible participants can receive PSA blood tests (prostate-specific antigen) and screenings for cholesterol, HIV, Hepatitis C, blood sugar and blood pressure. On-site physicians will also provide consultations to discuss the screenings and significance of test results and healthy lifestyle practices.
This is an excellent opportunity for men to access preventive healthcare and receive medical support and educational information. Screenings like these can – and will – save lives!
Health and wellness is a gift we give to ourselves and those that love us. This Father’s Day, let’s celebrate this month by making a commitment to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Gift of Life Screening Sites will be offered in Port Arthur (June 6 – Carl Parker Center), Beaumont (June 13 – Lamar Institute of Technology) and Orange (June 20 – Wilson Building at Lamar State College). Please call the Gift of Life’s 24-hour hotline at 409.860.3369 for pre-registration to determine eligibility.

John Fowler, M.D. with Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates