Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Nurse Beverly Ford checks the blood pressure of Rakesh Abad, a county employee, Thursday at the Albany Government Center during the “Men at Work” event.
ALBANY — Dozens of men were showed up for an event in which Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital annually provides free health screenings to men employed by the City of Albany, Dougherty County and the Water, Gas & Light Commission.
“Men at Work” was held Thursday morning at the Albany Government Center. More than 100 men pre-registered for the event, but walk-ins were also invited to take advantage of the free screenings that included a body mass index test, the prostate-specific antigen test and the blood pressure test.
“Men typically don’t have doctors, even if they have insurance,” said Darrell Sabbs, community benefits coordinator at Phoebe. “Men will wait until it hurts too bad. There is something in the male mentality that says: ‘Don’t go.’
“These events are about building a trust factor (between men and doctors).”
Based on attendance from previous years, officials said they were expecting roughly 200 men to take advantage of “Men at Work” Thursday. The timing of the screenings were scheduled to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which ends today.
For the seventh consecutive year, Phoebe partnered with the Phoebe Cancer Center, Phoebe Community Visions, YMCA and 100 Black Men to help pull the event off — and give participants a free lunch as well.
“We have been told that, as a result of these events we are doing, men have found out that they have symptoms of prostate cancer,” said Sabbs. “Because of technology we have today, when prostate cancer is detected in its early stages, it is totally curable.”
Because this has been going on for several years, Phoebe officials have now been able to track through the screening event the process that individual patients have been able to take from the detection of a problem, to treatment to relief of their cancer.
“It is called the Continuum of Care,” Sabbs said. “We are now seeing that come full circle.
“It’s not enough to just do a health screening.”
Charlie Crapps, a human resource specialist for the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners, has seen firsthand the impact the event has had in years past on county employees.
“It’s been most successful in the past,” he said. “They’ve been able to discover that we have had male employees with problems. There have been three people who have had surgeries, and there have been discoveries of blood pressure problems (the employees) were not aware of.”
Based on the progress the screenings have made, Crapps said that it is worthwhile to keep doing them every year.
It’s even gotten to become something the county’s male employees have come to look forward to.
“The employees encourage fellow employees to come in for screenings,” he said.