Bridgeport Hospital, churches join for African-American men’s health symposium

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bridgeport Hospital, Messiah Baptist Church and St. Matthew Baptist Church sponsored an African-American Men's Health Symposium Nov. 5 in the hospital's Hollander Auditorium.
Speakers included Keith Churchwell, MD, vice president and executive director of Heart and Vascular Services and Transplantation Center, Yale New Haven Hospital; and from Bridgeport Hospital, Ceasar Irby, DPM, chief of Podiatry; Sachin Majumdar, MD, chief of Endocrinology; and Joseph Petreycik, RN, manager of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness.

Bridgeport Hospital President and CEO William M. Jennings delivered opening remarks. The event also provided free health screenings and information to those who attended.

"Partnerships between hospitals and community organizations are vital to improving the health status of all residents, regardless of race, religion, gender or age," Jennings said. "Real health improvement can only occur if we are all accountable for our daily lifestyle habits. That kind of change begins at the grass roots level – in our own homes, neighborhoods and communities."

Jennings referenced the report, Race, Place, and Health: A comparative review of health data on African American males in Bridgeport, Connecticut, by Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven, a Connecticut-based nonprofit healthcare research firm. The report summarizes health disparities for African-American men and reasons why they exist.

The speakers also discussed the health disparities, such as higher hospitalization and death rates, as well as strategies to address them. These included:

  • recognizing signs and symptoms of diabetes and heart disease
  • understanding ways to prevent heart attack or stroke, including smoking cessation
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • engaging in regular exercise
  • healthy diet
  • managing blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels through health screenings and regular check-ups

"We thank Bridgeport Hospital, especially Mr. Jennings, for seeing and understanding the disparities in our healthcare system and the importance of this type of symposium," said Pastor Aaron Best of St. Matthew Church. "The medical presenters were very informative and timely. The feedback I got regarding the symposium was overwhelming!"

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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