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March 23, 2010

Minority men urged to take charge of their health

COLUMBIA - A statewide awareness campaign kicks off a three-part approach to helping men take proactive steps to improve their health and the pivotal role their health plays in their communities during April’s National Minority Health month, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“This is an opportunity for us to heighten the awareness of men’s health issues in the state,” said Shauna Hicks, director of DHEC’s Office of Minority Health. “Minority men in South Carolina suffer disproportionately and die earlier from illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Many of these diseases can be prevented, treated or cured.”

Hicks said the three parts of the awareness campaign include:

  • Be Aware: Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Recognize how dangerous behaviors such as smoking can lead to higher risks of cancer and engaging in unprotected sex can increase the risk of HIV/AIDS.
  • Get Educated: Seek the advice of a healthcare professional at least once a year. Get information on services and use available resources.
  • Take Action: Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Stop smoking. Get a flu shot. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid sugar, fats, and alcohol.

Hicks said examples of successful efforts to address minority health disparities include programs such as The Power to Prevent program in Greenville to address diabetes; Real Men Checkin’ it Out, promoting prostate cancer education and screenings in select areas of the state; and Tom Joyner’s Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day on April 10, 2010.


For more information:
Shauna Hicks - (803) 898-3808
E-mail -

Thom Berry - (803) 898-3885
E-mail -