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Andre Ellis, left, receives a free blood pressure screening from Marva Masood at the recent Minority Men’s Health Initiative Men’s Prayer Breakfast.

June was men’s health month and Hampton University Minority Men’s Health Initiative (MMHI) held a Men’s Prayer Breakfast recently at the Greensville County High School.

“I really enjoy working with Hampton University and to give back to my hometown has always been a passion of mine,” said Hampton University Outreach Coordinator Michele Green Wright.

Wright played a big hand in organizing Health care professionals, private corporations, faith-based community organizations, government agencies and the community to come together for a day to raise awareness about minority men’s health and promote the importance of routine health exams. The men took advantage of the free on site mobile health screenings including, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidneys and dental screening.

“As a black man I am concerned about living, I love life and want to maintain and preserve it,” Pastor Logan Tatum of Jerusalem Baptist Church said.

The men learned tips on making exercise and healthy eating a part of their daily lives. MMHI primary objective is to eliminate health disparities impacting minority men in cancer, cardiovascular disease, violence prevention, diabetes and obesity.

The program began with a welcoming from Community Volunteer Development Advisor Board John Hicks

“This is our 5th annual and final event,” Hicks said. “I would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and supporters who have helped to make this possible.”

Dr. Elijah Burke, director of men’s and health ministry at Baptist General Convention, took a few moments to address the men.

“Your health is your wealth,” he said. “Do the best you can to ensure that the world gets the best of everything that God has placed in you to share with others.”

Lyn Hobbs said he was invited and given information about the event through his friend Steven Brown a retired nurse from Hampton Virginia area.

“I am a diabetic, and I am hoping to walk away with a better understanding between myths and facts about staying healthy,” he said.

According to Brown he knows all the right things to do since his career has been in the medical field.

“I have a weakness for sweets, like the cheesecake that is home waiting for me right now,” he said while his friend Hobbs burst out in laughter.

Keynote Speaker for the event was Cardiologist Dr. Phillip Duncan, who began with what a normal blood pressure should look like in addition to a normal blood sugar (A1C).

“These are things we should know for ourselves, not just what a provider in the healthcare system tells you,” he noted.

Duncan went on to discuss high cholesterol and obesity. The cardiologist did a wonderful job on explaining and simplifying diabetes and how it impacts ones body. Duncan reminded us all to be active.

He gave a few examples including adding music to your cookouts, find outdoor activities that would involve the adults getting up out of their seats. Becoming healthier can only lead to improved health for families and the community. Duncan finished with a challenge.

“I challenge you all, the next time you have a celebration of any kind add music get the people up and moving around,” Duncan said.

MMHI didn’t have a day full of health education without providing an amazing melt in your mouth breakfast and lunch that was served and catered by Farm to Fork. Though the inside of the body was the priority John Mason of men’s fashion took care of the outer appearance and provided a savvy selection of men’s accessories including bow ties and cuff links.

Hampton University MMHI did a fantastic job of creating an atmosphere that was conducive to men to get them thinking, talking about and acting in their best health.