On Saturday, March 11, 2017, The Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia held its annual ‘Know Your Numbers’ event to address poor health and health disparities in African American men.
An estimated 900 men received free health screenings and medical advice. In partnership with PHEN, Thomas Jefferson University and the Prostate Conditions Education Council, over 200 PSA tests were conducted for prostate cancer early detection.
Mark Kennedy, PHEN’s Director of Outreach, presented during the event on the importance of African American participation in prostate cancer clinical trials as a critical step toward eliminating the African American prostate cancer disparity.
Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities that is affiliated with Jefferson Health, spoke about the need for collaboration in helping Black men live healthier.
“African-American men have the highest incidence rates of a number of diseases. African-American men have the highest incidence rates of cancer in the world,” she said. “The Center I work in has worked really hard to bring people together. We want you to work with us, come to us. We want questions and we’ll give answers.”
“It’s absolutely a safe space,” said the Rev. Leroy Miles Jr., the associate pastor of Pastoral Care and Counseling. “When we look at the data around minority health disparities, we looked at all the reasons why men don’t go to the doctor and this program overcomes all of those challenges.”
“It’s a safe space — there are doctors of color from our community that they will see again and again,” he added.
“Know Your Numbers” included discussions on colorectal health, erectile dysfunction, heart health, mental health, oral health and prostate health. Screenings were also offered for kidney health, HIV, prostate cancer, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
To lend a comfortable atmosphere, free haircuts, games and a television showing the March Madness college basketball tournament picks were offered. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were also provided to attendees.
“I had everything done,” said Wendell A. Dingle, an Enon member for nine years. “All of it is useful as long as you’re going to get yourself checked out. We as men tend not to want to deal with things, but we will take our car to get inspected once a year. But we should do preventive maintenance. It should be done on a yearly basis for everyone. “
PHEN looks forward to continued collaboration with Enon.