Public Policy, Well-being

Men’s Health Caucus in the American Public Health Association

On February 24, 2010, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), announced the Association’s support for the Men’s Health Caucus, which will draw awareness to an emerging and cross-cutting public health concern. Scott Williams, Chair of the newly formed Caucus and Vice President of Men’s Health Network (MHN), explained that “The Men’s Health Caucus is necessary to bring together academic institutions, health departments, non-profit organizations and others with a common interest in improving the health and well-being of men and their families. This field is in desperate need of a diverse, multi-disciplinary, and coordinated approach to better tackle this public health issue within our communities.”

This caucus will allow APHA members and other individuals interested in the field to coalesce around the impact of poor health outcomes and premature death in men as it pertains to public health. Men of all races, on average, live about 5 years less than their female counterparts because they are less proactive and less engaged with the healthcare system, illustrated by CDC reports that women are 100% more likely than men to seek preventive care. Additionally, poor health outcomes in men cause significant financial burdens on the health care system; higher prevalence rates of chronic disease result in premature death and disability which ultimately affect utilization and rates of health care services. Moreover, the ramifications of chronic disease transcend beyond the individual, often affecting immediate family members as well as members of the individual’s social network. As a result, MHN agrees with the following statement from Dr. Benjamin that “protecting and improving the health of men and their families is essential to improving the health of our nation.” It is MHN’s strong belief that strategic and gender-specific outreach can, in fact, improve health outcomes in men. The formation of an official caucus to facilitate dialogue between health professionals, public health practitioners and researchers will create opportunities for progress in the field.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Men’s Health Caucus, please do not hesitate to contact me at ramonl@menshealthnetwork.net.

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Author: Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES

Ramon holds a Masters in Public Health degree with an emphasis on health promotion and health education from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and a BS in biological sciences and biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Men’s Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association.

His background includes health promotion at the US DHHS in Washington, DC and Director of Programs for Men’s Health Network.

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