CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Every spring, the Minority Men’s Health Fair at the Cleveland Clinic attracts thousands of people in need of screenings, checkups and tests.
While it’s geared toward minority men, any man wanting to get his health checked out at no cost can attend.
“These young men just don’t go to the doctor," said Jackie Gardner.
Like any loving mother, Gardner wants a healthy family. That’s why she convinced her grown son to attend.
“They examined him and found out he had a heart defect. He ended up getting a pacemaker put in and it saved his life,” she said.
Dr. Charles Modlin said that’s the kind of results he was hoping when he founded the health fair 17 years ago.
“I’m very happy that the word is getting out, and that men are taking advantage of this very unique opportunity,” he explained.
Doctor Modlin, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said fewer than 50 men showed up at the first health fair. Over the years, it has grown to include thousands.
The health fair was scheduled for Thursday April 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Hundreds of doctors, nurses and volunteers will be ready to check patients out, head to toe.
“We target minority men because of the higher rate of healthcare disparities,” said Dr. Modlin. “Higher disease rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney and a number of other conditions. Black men have twice the death rate for prostate cancer compared to their white male counterparts.”
Jerome Davis knows that better than most. He said his life was saved after a visit to the Minority Men’s Health Fair back in 2012, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“I said let me come to the health fair and see what’s going on because I haven’t seen a doctor in a while,” said Davis.
Unfortunately, Davis’s story is very typical. Many men try and tough it out instead of getting checked out.
“At the health fair we’re not only going to be doing these preventative health screenings and health examines, but we’re also going to be educating the community about the importance of maintaining your health,” said Dr. Modlin.
The health fair took place at four locations, including the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic.