MCC 2010 Spirit of Collaboration Honorable Mention Award Winner 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, American Cancer Society, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Collaborative Project
About the Initiative 100 Black Men of Detroit wanted to promote the health of African-American men and include prostate health. This effort brought 100 Black Men and the American Cancer Society (ACS) together to share resources and a vision of better health for African-American men.
100 Black Men and ACS recruited trainers to conduct the ACS Let's Talk About It program, an educational discussion to help men understand what prostate cancer is and how to make informed decisions about screening and their general health. A total of 14 people, mostly men, were trained in October 2009 to deliver the program throughout the Detroit area. These trainers paired off and conducted trainings at churches and special events around the city of Detroit. Four hundred men and woman were reached by this group. Another 125 people attended a June 2010 kick-off breakfast to promote the September 2010 100 Black Men's walk, at which 400 participants are expected to take advantage of medical screenings from Ford Health Systems and St. John Hospital. Because the goal of the screenings is to get men to a primary care physician, event organizers have arranged to provide participants who do not have health insurance with referrals to a federally qualified health center to help ensure that they receive medical care.
The cooperation that has been displayed when each agency has done what they do best has helped create the best outcomes in this collaboration. 100 Black Men has leveraged its membership to get involved and has shared its individual resources for the good of the whole. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) has provided the funding and technical support to make the collaboration possible. ACS has provided technical support and written materials for the initiative. Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has provided funds, technical assistance, and venues for the outreach effort. The Detroit Chapter of Delta has conducted the largest outreach effort, reaching nearly 300 men through one of its programs using trainers who deliver the Let's Talk About It message.
BCBS and St. John Hospital combined efforts to host a June 2010 kick-off breakfast for the 100 Black Men's Man Up Walk in September. Guest speakers at the breakfast included: Wayne State University professor Dr. Isacc Powell; University of Michigan professor, ACS research recipient, and urologist Dr. Derrick Griffith; MDCH Director Janet Olszewski; ACS Director of Prostate and Colorectal Cancers Dr. Durado Brooks; and former Detroit Lion Freddie Scott, a prostate cancer survivor. All spoke to the importance of closing the gap of health disparities for African-American men, discussing why this population is so hard to reach and stressing the need to reach out to African-American men at a much younger age with messages about the importance of their health. The breakfast speakers encouraged everyone present to do their part to address the health needs of African-American men and change the statistics indicating that 60 percent of African-American men will not live to age 60. The collaborators in this project will continue to work to connect the dots of health for men and save lives.
Impetus for the Collaboration African-American men are one of the most disparate population as it pertains to health. They are diagnosed more often with chronic and preventable diseases, including cancer, and they die more often from these diseases. Both ACS and BCBS have programs that address these issues, but it was 100 Black Men that brought both of these groups together.
Results 400 underserved men now know about the issue of prostate cancer and have been referred to federally qualified health centers in the area in which they live. Before prostate cancer screening occurs, they must first assess their overall health needs. Men have been wanting a walk that will reflect their health concerns and needs, and the Man Up Men's Health Walk at Belle Isle in September 2010 should attract 400 participants; men will receive health screening and those who do not have health insurance will be referred to local area federally qualified health centers to help ensure that more men will have a medical home. The walk is being hosted by key agencies in the Detroit community that will continue to service this population even after they have been seen by a primary care physician. Henry Ford Health System, St. John Hospital, and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute have come on board, as have BCBS and ACS.
Lessons Learned This collaboration taught us that addressing health issues for men is not an easy task, and we need to go where the men are and meet with them to share overall health information. Once you have their attention, though, men will open up and share a great deal with you, and most want to make the needed changes to improve their health. They appreciate the information and the time individuals took to come out and speak to them about their health.
"100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, American Cancer Society, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Collaborative Project" received an Honorable Mention in the Michigan Cancer Consortium’s 2010 Spirit of Collaboration Awards. The annual award is presented to member organizations that have done outstanding collaborative work to significantly move comprehensive cancer control activities forward in Michigan.