By Steve Blanchard - October 25, 2022
Moffitt Cancer Center and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers teamed up on Oct. 22 to bring health services and cancer screenings to the men of the Tampa Bay area in its first such event since 2019.
The Men’s Health Huddle, held at the Jackson Heights NFL YET Center, offered free cancer screenings and health evaluations for qualifying men of all ages. The goal was to reach segments of the community who are uninsured or underinsured.
Educational programs focused on health were also available.
“This event is a great way for health care professionals to work directly with men who may otherwise not have access to quality health care,” said Taylor Witkowski, community health educator with Moffitt’s Office of Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity. “We want to thank the Bucs for their continued support of research and education at Moffitt. We share their commitment in recognizing the need to address cancer health disparities among underserved and underrepresented populations in the East Tampa Bay area.”
Moffitt experts provided education focused on colorectal, lung and prostate cancer. A new topic to many was multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells. Screening for head and neck cancer was available on-site. Community partners provided blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, dental and vision screenings.
An event like the Men’s Health Huddle provides a unique way for local health care organizations to bring services directly to the residents of East Tampa, said Dr. Susan Vadaparampil, associate center director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity.
"The huddle also provided an excellent forum for our researchers to share work and opportunities to participate in research that addresses disparities among Black men, such as prostate cancer and multiple myeloma."- Dr. Susan Vadaparampil, Associate Center Director, Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity
“We are deeply grateful to the community leaders, patients and advocates who brought their important experiences and perspectives to the day,” Vadaparampil said. “The huddle also provided an excellent forum for our researchers to share work and opportunities to participate in research that addresses disparities among Black men, such as prostate cancer and multiple myeloma.”
Kenisha Avery, manager of the Office of Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity, hopes that those who attended left with information to improve their health for cancer and their overall health.
“This event highlighted the tremendous opportunities to focus on men’s health in our local community. We look forward to continuing the work through collaboration and partnership over the months and years to come,” she said.