Saginaw Men’s Health Fair to Feature Greg Kelser

In honor of National Men’s Health Month this June, the Saginaw Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity will kick off its Fourth Annual Men’s Health Fair on Saturday, June 4, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the St. Mary’s of Michigan Health Education Center.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-sponsored event focuses on encouraging men to make health care a priority in their lives.

This year the fair welcomes its first featured speaker, former NBA player and 1979 NCAA Champion Greg Kelser. The beloved Michigan State University alumnus will speak about the importance of health and fitness for men’s health as well as promote his book, Greg Kelser’s Tales from Michigan State Basketball.

The Men’s Health Fair is the brainchild of Kappa member, Dwayne Parker. Parker drew inspiration from his career in health care as well as personal experience to create this initiative to promote awareness and action regarding men’s health.

Dwayne Parker
Dwayne Parker, courtesy image

Growing up, Parker noticed that despite his family having health insurance through his father’s 37 years at General Motors, he rarely saw his father use it. Within the last several years, however, his father frequented healthcare facilities resulting from several health complications including prostate cancer. Parker noticed during his father’s appointments that there are often health care initiatives for senior citizen health, women’s health, and children’s health, but felt more could be done for men’s health.

The international Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity started its Healthy Kappas/Healthy Communities initiative to educate and equip members, their families, and their surrounding communities with the tools to improve health and wellness. The Saginaw Kappas put a special emphasis on the African American community because of the health disparities between African American men and other racial groups. Parker said the start of the Healthy Kappas/Healthy Communities was when “all the stars had aligned to get me passionate about men’s health.” Shortly after, he and the Saginaw Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi hosted their first Men’s Health Fair to educate men about important health issues facing men today.

Parker’s passion became especially personal last August. At the end of his annual checkup, his physician instructed him to go straight to the emergency room. He discovered he had an enlarged heart with an 80 percent blockage in one artery and blood clots. Since then, becoming the patient has drawn him closer to the message of making healthcare a priority for men.

The Men’s Health Fair promotes not only healthcare as a reaction to various symptoms, but also as a preventative measure to avoid future or worsening conditions. To encourage preventative care, attendees of the Men’s Health Fair can expect numerous free health screenings including hearing and vision screenings as well as tests for cholesterol and blood pressure. The fair has also added a massage station and dental chairs for oral and gum checkups for the first time this year to highlight the often overlooked significance of dental health.

Click here for more information regarding the Saginaw Kappa’s Men’s Health Fair. To learn more about National Men’s Health Month and men’s health issues, check out these posts:

Photo credit: Akash Kataruka (feature), courtesy image

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