Oct. 25, 2012
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in partnership with the University of Connecticut, is launching a statewide men's health campaign - "Man Up" - to raise awareness about a significant health disparity between men and women. The program was announced at press conference on Thursday at Rentschler Field.
The Man Up campaign will feature key partners, Dr. Frank M. Torti, dean of the School of Medicine at University of Connecticut Health Center, and UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel. Donald "Dee" Row, former UConn men's basketball coach and a 20-year cancer survivor will also share his personal story.
For those who plan to attend the Nov. 9 UConn vs. Pittsburgh football game, the Men's Health Tailgating Challenge will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the UConn FanFest located between Rentschler Field Gates A and B. It will feature free health screenings, men's health information and a Wii Sports competition and prizes.
Lembo, who coordinates health care for approximately 200,000 lives, said national data shows that men, on average, die almost six years earlier than women. Men are also significantly more likely to suffer the most serious chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Despite these facts, men are also 100 percent less likely than women to obtain preventative screenings, according to federal data.
"We're sicker and we're dying younger - and we need to do something about it," Lembo said. "So many of us will drop everything to get our car oil changed and engines checked on schedule, but won't see a doctor until after something breaks. We need to realign our priorities and Man Up about our health.
"The message behind Man Up is simple: Take responsibility for your health, because we can't be the best fathers, brothers and sons to our families if we get sick from preventable diseases. You can't tough out cancer and heart disease if you hold your punches until the end of the fight."
UConn Health Center and UConn Athletic Department are lead partners in Man Up, helping to deliver the Man Up message to hundreds of thousands of Husky fans and coordinating a "Men's Health Tailgating Challenge" with Lembo. The pre-game tailgating event on Nov. 9 at Rentschler Field (UConn vs. Pittsburgh) will feature free health screenings, a Wii sport competition and other activities to raise awareness about Man Up.
The Man Up campaign will attempt to address some of the behavioral disparities between men and women when it comes to preventative care - first, by raising awareness. Some of the Man Up efforts will include:
ONLINE: WWW.OSC.CT.GOV/MANUP: Through the Man Up website and social media, we will feature information about the campaign, including men's health resources and men's and women's blogs that will be frequently updated with stories and health facts. It will also include any updates about events related to men's health in Connecticut.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS: public service announcements, including one featuring ESPN anchor Stuart Scott (a three-time cancer survivor), will also deliver an important message to radio and television audiences across Connecticut about men's health.
MAN UP ROUNDTABLE: In January, the Office of the State Comptroller will coordinate a men's health roundtable to unite health providers, survivors and other men's health stakeholders for a policy discussion about how to improve our system to better serve men. While most providers already have centralized women's services, we need to do the same for men.