BY DR. JENNIFER SANKEY, Ph.D., MS, BSN, RN and IVAN SANKEY, RN
ORLANDO – On Saturday, June 3, 2023, the Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando (CFBNA) held its inaugural Community Male Health and Fitness Initiative, “Embrace your Power Through Healthy Choices,” at the John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center in the beautiful city of Orlando.
Realizing that men are more likely than women to delay seeking medical care, the CFBNA advocates for men’s health and equal access to healthcare for all. Research shows that healthier choices result in better quality of life. This event aimed to educate men on preventing diseases, early and annual health screening to establish baseline to see their numbers and preserving mental, physical, and spiritual health. This inaugural event was informative, interactive, engaging, and fun, with nutritious and delicious food.
The health and fitness initiative kicked off at 10:30 AM. Men of varying ages and backgrounds were present at the opening session. Ivan Sankey, CFBNA Board Member and Coordinator of the Event, warmly welcomed the men, followed by Dr. Jennifer Sankey, President of the Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando, who enthusiastically greeted the attendees with the saying, “Our health is our wealth.” She shared that the health initiative’s goal was to provide valuable information to increase awareness about how to help enrich our health, which is our wealth. Next, the fellow CFBNA nurses cheered and commended the men for taking time to focus on their health. Later, via Zoom, Dr. Martha Dawson, President of the National Black Nurses Association, charged the men to advocate for their health because “our nation depends on men to be healthy because a healthy man contributes to a healthy home, healthy communities, and a healthy nation.”
The theme of this health initiative was team sports. Attendees wore jerseys of their favorite team and sat at well-decorated tables with centerpieces with sports balls and health reminders such as “know your numbers” and “keep moving.” The CFBNA nurses took blood pressures and conducted a cardiovascular screening. The room had high energy as the men mixed and mingled during the “getting to know you” activity. The presenters captivated the audience by sharing information and engaging them in a question-and-answer session on men’s health, natural remedies, insurance options, heart health, colon screening, nutrition, and more.
The presenters were:
*Pastor Thompson, CFBNA Advisory Board Member led out in our Group Roundtable encouraging feedback as it relates to where they are presently.
*Dr. Brady discussed options of care for male prostate cancer and related disease processes such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction.
*Jose Alvarez community Liaison for Boston Scientific male health section presented information regarding current treatment options available. He also provided food and water for our event, sponsored along with Nelson Alfonso and Derrick Bailey used visual aids and discussions in answering participants many questions.
*Dr. Henry Pearson spoke about natural health in conjunction with conventional approaches.
*Dr. Anthony Winston stressed the need for colon screening to establish colon health.
*Kadesh Flemings, Sr. presented the laws of health to improve your life through lifestyle changes.
*Ivan-Marquise Sankey discussed heart health tips and ideas and shared data regarding how the heart and our circulatory system support all the organs of the body.
*Darrell Guilbeo representative of Care Plus shared insights into what resources are available and understanding how to use them.
*A savory, delicious, and nutritious meal with a variety of plant-based options that satisfied the tastebuds was prepared by Chef Jamar from Brown Stamp.
This event was remarkable! The men were empowered to schedule an annual physical, make healthier lifestyle choices, and seek medical attention when indicated. Several participants appreciated the health initiative by saying, “I am blessed to be here.” “This is a worthwhile event; men need a forum to talk openly about real health issues.” “I learned a lot.”
This valuable event gained the attention of Spectrum- TV 13 News who interviewed Ivan Sankey, Event Coordinator, and participants were seen interacting with the presenters and each other. Our event was aired on the evening news cycle as well as later that same day.
We want to express our appreciation to attendees, presenters, and supporters for their contribution to the success of this community male health and fitness initiative. Tiger Dan (Milton Spradley) captured the moments of this meaningful event by taking pictures and promoting this special event. Roger Caldwell On Point Media Group provided press releases, and Dr. Lameck Opande, sponsor.
In keeping with the Mission of the CFBNA, the nurses of CFBNA are glad that we can advocate for the health and well-being of all people by offering meaningful educational sessions and health services that elevate the awareness of how to take charge of their health by making choices that can lead to a better quality of life. For more information about health equity and initiatives, you may contact the Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando at email@example.com or cfbnaoforlando.org.