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Cleveland Clinic kicks off Minority Men’s Health Fair

The 15th Annual Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Fair will be held this month on April 27, at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus from 5:30 pm. Until 8:30 p.m.

It is presented by Dr. Charles Modlin and the Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Center.

Modlin is a board certified urologist and a kidney transplant surgeon who is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Center. He is also the president of the medical staff at Cleveland Clinic.

“We started the Minority Mens health Fair back in 2003,” said Modlin.

“And in 2004 we officially started the Minority Men’s Health center which is a year-round clinic at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus.”

According to Modlin, the reason for starting the fair and center was because they noticed that minority men, especially African Americans males and Hispanic males, have higher rates of health care disparities and a number of diseases and issues like twice the death rate from prostate cancer, twice the rate of developing prostate cancer, higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

A lot of these healthcare disparities lead to a shorter life expectancy and they knew that they could do something about it and so they started the health fair and health center.

They studied the reasons why these health care disparities exist. A lot of it is due to lack of access, lack of education, so they wanted to provide the men in the community the opportunity for free health screenings.

“We were aware that we could detect a lot of these diseases at early stages,” said Modlin.

“We can do something to help the men for example prostate cancer is potentially 100 percent curable if it’s detected at early stages. One of the problems was a lot of the men were not getting screened and by the time we discovered they had prostate cancer, in many of the situations it had already spread so it was too late to really do anything about it. So as a result we spend a lot of time going out into the community educating the men about the importance of coming in to establish care with a primary care provider.”

“I also think every man should have an urologist, because urologists specialize in men’s health and we work with the primary care provider to give full, care to the men but we treat females also but we have expertise in treating men,” said Modlin.

Modlin and the Cleveland Clinic staff spends time educating men about the importance of preventative health care screenings because you can have diabetes, hypertension, several different types of cancer, kidney disease and you don’t have to have any type of symptoms.

Modlin says “We don’t want people to be complacent or think everything is fine just because they don’t have any symptoms. They still need to come in and get checked out. Women already kind of know that but men for various reasons are reluctant to come in and get checked out.”

“Cleveland Clinic is a very special place not only as a health care provider but it’s one of the leading health care organizations in the world. US news and World report last year ranked us as the number 2 hospital in the nation and our department of urology has been ranked as number 1 or number 2 in the country.”

“For me to have the opportunity to work at this organization within this department is a great honor,” said Modlin.

“In this department we all collaborate with each other and we all have specialties like mine is kidney transplantation. This is especially important to this community because African Americans have 4 to 6 times more bouts with kidney disease than White Americans and as a result African Americans make up about 40 percent of those on the list waiting for kidney transplants.”

So that’s an area Modlin is trying to promote the important of prevention of kidney disease and also the importance that we as a community needs to step up and sign our organ donor registration cards and be willing to be organ donors because we have a greater need.

“One of the highlights in my career at Cleveland Clinic is establishing the Minority Men’s Health Center,” said Modlin.

“When we first started the health fair we had 35 men show up and now we have in the last couple of years 1,500 to 2,000 men come to the health fair and get the preventative health screenings. We want the men to be surrogates and advocates for preventative health screenings and tell other men.’

Over the past several years physicians have encouraged men and everybody to establish care with a primary care provider because you need a doctor who knows you, who knows your medical situation and can follow you over the years.

“The thing I want the Call & post and other people to realize is that every man needs a urologist in addition to a primary care provider especially African American males because there is twice the death rate for prostate cancer in African American men,” said Modlin.

“The American Urologic Association recommends that Black men should start prostate screenings at the age of 40 but every White man the recommendation is to start screening at age 55. And urologists are the experts in doing that type of screening. Most women have a gynecologist that takes care of the female needs so a urologist for a man takes care of male reproductive health like erectile dysfunction amongst other things. So I want to spread this across the country, every man needs an urologist.”

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