Let’s Improve the Health of Men of Color…..Part I

Men have been taught to be strong and firm for centuries, as breadwinners, protectors, soldiers, fathers and husbands, thus withstanding pain and images of weakness. This has led to a culture where men often ignore their health and well-being in the name of masculinity. As a result, there is often poor health education and a scarcity of male specific health programs. Health Power and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center) Health Policy Institute are partnering, with other key organizations to address two special problems affecting men and boys of color. They are:

  1. Worse health status AND health care than that of White men and boys, and
  2. A greater likelihood of being members of low income families and communities.

Because our partnership knows that “Men’s Health is Power“, we are committed to improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of men of color.

Especially helpful in developing this project were:

  • Recommendations of the Joint Center’s Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes, and
  •  Findings from more than 100 focus groups and many key person interviews that I have directed.
Why We’re Targeting the Health of Men of Color
Previous attempts have failed to have a significant impact in decreasing health disparities among men of color. Examples follow.
Men in general, and men of color especially, are less likely than women to:
     –  seek preventive health services.
     –  have a regular doctor or source of care.
     –  have health insurance
     –  have poorer health outcomes than women at all economic levels.
     –  many common illnesses in men are likely to have a more negative
     effect in men of color.


Catch Part II for more detailed information.

 

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