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Care for Your Family, Care for Yourself

 Dr. David Wood
By Ken Dey, News and Community
June 17, 2013

By Dr. David Wood, Idaho Gastroenterology Associates and member of the St. Luke's Men's Health Committee

BOISE, Idaho -- In the wake of another Father’s Day,  and to recognize June as National Men's Health Month, I am reminded of the Men’s Health Committee mission to “Care for your Family, Care for Yourself.” This committee was started over five years ago to promote awareness of basic health maintenance issues in men that often go neglected.

For instance, current U.S. statistics tell us that on average, women are outliving men by at least five years. While many factors are out of our control, a few basic preventive steps can help to prolong healthy life expectancy in men:

  •          Establish a relationship with a primary care provider
  •           Stop smoking
  •           Maintain a healthy weight and diet
  •           Get regular blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose screenings
  •           Commit to regular colorectal cancer screening and testicular self-exam
  •           Discuss prostate health with your doctor
  •           Avoid skin damage caused by sunburn

Our committee has brochures available that highlight important steps to maintaining men’s health. They emphasize different stages of life and are distributed in local health care clinics and at community and sporting events. We have been getting the message out through print, radio, and television as well. If you’d like more information on men’s health topics, please contact our Men’s Health Coordinator, Jeff Matsushita at matsushj@slhs.org.

It has been an honor to serve on the steering group for better health promotion in younger and middle aged men. I am encouraged by the feedback we have received that this issue is gaining exposure and increasing awareness that many of the health issues faced by men are indeed treatable and often preventable.

What can you do?  Stay healthy for your family! Make an appointment for yourself with a primary care provider, or encouraging the men in your life to schedule that appointment. St. Luke’s can help you find a doctor; call 381-9000 or visit us online.

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.