Black men health, Houston

Black Men’s Wellness Day Highlights Urgent Healthcare Needs

Black Men's Wellness Day is an attempt in Houston and other cities to address disparities in healthcare for Black men.

On April 27, the University of Houston hosted the second annual Black Men’s Wellness Day, including a “Save Black Men’s Lives” 5K walk, health screenings, and over 100 vendors that focused on health, wellness, and connecting Black men with social services organizations. 

As the Houston Chronicle reports, Black Men’s Wellness Day is an attempt both in Houston and other cities to address disparities in healthcare for Black men.

“We are literally bringing the clinic to the community,” said Jamail Johnson, executive eirector of the African American Wellness Agency’s Houston office. “I don’t want this to be a conversation after someone dies. This brings the important conversation about our health to the forefront. I want this to be something not just young men benefit from but also old men as well. We are hoping to save lives.”

According to Johnson, at last year’s event, around 20% of the attendees were sent to hospitals around the Houston area due to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other issues that required immediate medical attention. This underscores data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that the life expectancy of Black men is 69 years, compared to 78 years for Black women and 76 years for white men. 

“If you’re a Black American, your risk of having an amputation is up to four times higher than white Americans and after you’ve had an amputation, you’re risk of being dead is 50% in one year and over 70% in three years,” Richard Browne, senior medical executive of Health System Strategy and Health Equity at Johnson & Johnson, told KPRC 2 in 2023. “Every year we experience at every walk, someone learns numbers that are alarming enough that someone has to immediately go to the hospital.”

Johnson also told the Chronicle that free screenings that measure blood flow were made available through a partnership with Johnson & Johnson, which hopes to address why Black men are leading the nation in amputations. In January, Johnson & Johnson and the African American Male Wellness Agency (AAMWA) partnered to address healthcare disparities among Black Americans in the healthcare industry. 

RELATED CONTENT: Black Men Face Heightened Risk Of Prostate Cancer, Highlighted By O.J. Simpson’s Passing