Pat Dye, Gene Stallings to speak at annual CVMC men's health event
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – Coosa Valley Medical Center is going for the win by combining its men’s health initiative with something men are sure to respond to – football.

In recognition of National Men’s Health Week this week, the hospital announced its second annual Men’s Health Event, featuring former Auburn University football coach Pat Dye and former University of Alabama coach Gene Stallings.

The health fair and dinner is set for Aug. 8 at J. Craig Smith Community Center, beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $12 each or $80 for a table of eight. Part of CVMC’s ongoing effort to promote health and wellness in the area, the event particularly encourages men to partake in important annual health screenings.

“As a society, ladies have done an extraordinary job raising awareness regarding health issues they face,” said CVMC CEO Glenn Sisk. “On the other hand, men have been far less open with their willingness to engage in this vitally important dialogue. We hope events such as these will serve as a catalyst for greater emphasis on health issues facing men in our region.”

To accomplish this goal, the hospital is honored to welcome two legendary football coaches to share thoughts from their successful careers at rival state universities. Dye and Stallings, both inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame with multiple championships under their belts, will speak and also hold a question and answer segment and autograph signings during the event.

“These two men were significantly involved in helping build the rivalry that exists today between Alabama and Auburn,” Sisk said. “Participants will thoroughly enjoy hearing memorable stories from their time as leaders and maybe even a few predictions about the upcoming season.”

Preceding the dinner and speakers, which begin at 6 p.m., health screenings and informational services will be accessible to men in classrooms adjoining the J. Craig Center gym. They will include testing for height and weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep disorders, prostate screenings (via a simple blood test), body mass index, depression and information about fitness and wellness, rehabilitation and sports medicine, orthopedics, senior behavioral care and cardiac care. Medical staff will be on hand for consultations, and results from the screenings will be mailed to participants within two weeks.

Of the more than 200 men who attended last year’s event, several identified clinical concerns that required further medical care.

“If you come to the event and walk away with one piece of knowledge you didn’t have or with the desire to have an annual check-up, then we feel like we’ve made a difference,” CVMC Business Development Officer Vanessa Green said. “As we’ve heard since last year, the issues that were identified truly did make a difference in these men’s lives, because we know in most medical situations, early detection is the key, along with having the knowledge of signs and symptoms to look for.”

Green said statistics show men are notorious for ignoring signs and symptoms that could prevent some of the major health issues, such as heart disease, prostate cancer and even suicide. Hospital board member Jesse Cleveland, a cancer survivor himself, said the men’s health initiative is escalating awareness of these concerns since it began several years ago as a vision of his, and he anticipates a growing interest as the hospital forms community partnerships to advance its message in the future.

“If you’re going to begin to eradicate your problem, you’ve got to dream real big in this area, because it’s not a minor problem; it’s a big problem,” he said.

CVMC shared some statistics about men’s major health issues. Accounting for one in every four male deaths, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Between 70 and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death, only behind lung cancer. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime and one in 36 will not survive.

Suicide is another leading men’s health risk, often caused by undiagnosed depression. More than half of the 30,000 annual suicides in America occur in men ages 25-65.

All of these and many other issues can be addressed at CVMC’s event. Tickets are available now by calling 256-401-4070. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, though they will also be available at the door the night of the event.

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© 2013