By Steve Blanchard
During her five years as a volunteer at the Men’s Health Forum, Alix Beaupierre saw many familiar faces each year.
Men’s Health Forum and Moffitt’s Colorectal Awareness EventWhen: March 16 from 8 a.m. to noon
Where: USF Marshall Student Center, 4103 Cedar Circle, Tampa
“It’s so fulfilling to see those with continued interest and participation in this important event,” said Beaupierre, nurse coordinator in the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. “These men are happy to receive the various types of education, vouchers for prostate exams and colonoscopies. The blood pressure and vision screening areas are also very popular.”
The 19th annual Men’s Health Forum is a free event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 16, at the University of South Florida Marshall Student Center. This is the second time the event has expanded to include colorectal cancer awareness and education, which is open to men and women. Walk through a and learn more about colorectal health. The Men’s Health Forum is a shared effort by area hospitals, health care organizations, churches, community organizations, and businesses to provide help to men, 18 and older, who are uninsured, underinsured, or do not have a regular health care provider.
In the past, many men admit they were encouraged to participate in the free event by their significant others. But Beaupierre adds that a majority are likely attending of their own volition.
“I have seen whole families attend, of course, but I see most of the men attending solo,” she said. “That’s not to say that some were encouraged by their female relatives at home to attend. Either way, I’m just happy that they do attend. That’s what’s important.”
While the focus is on health and screenings, there is an added incentive to attend this year. Bucs alum and Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson is expected to appear alongside Bucs mascot Captain Fear from 9 to 11 a.m. An inflatable quarterback toss game will be on the grounds this year, as well as drawings held throughout the day.
The Men’s Health Forum will feature exhibitors offering health and wellness resources. Attendees will have access to free health screenings, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, HIV/AIDS/STI, skin cancer and more.
Beaupierre is hopeful that many familiar faces will reappear at the Men’s Health Forum this year, but she also wants new faces to be there, as well.
“I encourage people to attend annually,” she said. “It’s a valuable opportunity for screening, education and guidance on managing health matters. And it’s all free!”