Man Up! for Your Health
DR. JORGE REYNO PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BERRYMON
MAN UP! PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
In November, across the United States, there may be an increase of unshaven men. It’s Men’s Health Awareness Month, and those who are aware will be participating in the Movember Movement, a program set up to open dialogs and encourage men to be more vigilant when it comes to their care. Men grow their facial hair as a way to establish camaraderie and solidarity among them.
Here in Los Angeles, Dr. Jorge Reyno and his colleagues at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) are taking a slightly different approach to raise awareness.
Reyno, who hails from Colombia but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri’s public housing, heads up Population Health at MLKCH. Part of his responsibility is to establish “value-based relationships with other hospitals, physicians, and provider organizations, building evidence-based care models, disease-specific programs, care coordination, and the identification of clinical improvement opportunities across the continuum of care,” according to his bio. In advance of Movember, he has already helped to established programs encouraging these men to start talking and start asking questions about their health, one of them being Man Up!, a program that links barbershops in Los Angeles County with MLKCH doctors to offer free medical screenings to the public.
“We kicked off the ‘Man Up!’ program in January,” Reyno explained in a recent interview.
“It’s been tough to gauge its effectiveness in the short-term. However, I do know that there has been great community engagement [so far]. I’m always pleased when I’m able to attend and I’m able to sit down with men and women, answering questions and making them aware of the importance of prostate cancer screening and why it’s important for them to know their numbers in regards to blood pressure for stroke prevention, prevention of heart disease, for prevention of all the complications associated with those…”
First launched at all nine barbershops, the program then rotated in set of 3 starting with Just Showin’ Off, in L.A., The Place to Be in Carson, and VIP Barber Shop in Compton and continues the first Saturday of every month until December 1.
According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control: Among four groups — white, American Indian, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic — the rate of new prostate cancer diagnoses is anywhere between 49.6 and 90.2 per 100,000 men.
For African American men, however, the rates are much higher, with 158.3 new diagnoses per 100,000 men. African American men are twice as likely to die from the disease as white men.
“So, what we're really trying to do with these programs is address the needs before it gets to where they need the hospital,” Reyno said.
“In my position, I work to develop collaborative team environments to promote a culture of two-way communication and engagement with the community to create opportunities for positive patient outcomes. Through these collaborations with community partners, MLKCH is able to develop new programs, and match progress with the needs of the populations.”
Other MLKCH community programs include “Know Your Basics,” where providers offer health screenings and health education out in the community—in shopping malls, churches, farmers markets, schools, and hair salons. There is also the You Can program, bringing hospital employees and doctors into classrooms and brings students to the hospital to learn about nutrition and health.
“In the schools, we talk with students about jobs in healthcare. In the hospital, we welcome students who learn about hygiene, how to prevent getting sick, and how to select healthy foods—students even take a cooking class and bring home a recipe, according to an MLKCH spokesperson.
“We want students in our community to be healthy. We also want them to know there are many options for them and to work in healthcare when they grow up.
“We want to treat people who are dealing with conditions that have grown worse because that is the nature of their condition, not people with situations that could have been prevented,” Reyno said.
“We want to focus on preventative care and helping people get access to the care they need early on. It’s strange for a hospital to say, but ultimately hopefully nobody needs our hospital.”
@YourMLKCH | #manup | #menshealth