June 12, 2015 – Fort Valley State University’s Department of Health and Physical Education, in collaboration with the undergraduate and graduate chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., are hosting a Family Fitness Event to raise awareness about improving health outcomes for African American men on June 19, from 6-8 p.m. in the Health and Physical Education Complex.
According to Dr. Edward Hill, dean of the College of Education who is coordinator this event, African-American men have the worst, overall health outcomes in the nation.
Hill believes that negative health statistics are a precursor to other problems within the Black community.
“The health of Black men has reached the top-spot of social issues,” Hill said. “But why do such grim statistics plague the African-American male? The reasons for these negative health statistics, although complex, include a number of factors. Some of these are poverty, a lack of affordable healthcare and health services, fear, racial discrimination, and inadequate health education, employment without health insurance, and insufficient medical and social services that cater specifically to African-American men.”
Some African-American men, Hill said, also fail to adequately seek medical advice from physicians or attend follow-up health appointments.
“More than 65 percent of Black men say that they have not been treated or seen by a medical doctor in years, with 3 or more years being the average amount of time,” Hill said. “Most Black men have been socially reared to believe that pain, or showing signs of pain, denotes weakness. This affects the male psyche and is the root cause of men not seeking routine exams, or other types of medical attention.”
Hill said he hopes their events helps to turn those statistics around.
Dr. Gregory Greene, chair of the Health and Physical Education department of the College of Education, said the upcoming event is a perfect time for men to check the status of their overall health.
“What better time than the being of Father’s Day weekend than we start off making certain that the men in your life begins their weekend with an activity that helps them stay on the road to health and fitness,” Greene said.
Hill agrees. “We must bring some education and awareness to these critical issues that effect and impact our families, our lives, and our community,” he said. “It is our hope that this event can serves as a catalyst to change for men in our community.”