Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Brain, Brawn & Body, and LeRoy Butler, NFL Player-Green Bay Packer, Lead Men's Health Discussion - Ascension Wisconsin

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Published on July 25, 2013

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Brain, Brawn & Body, and LeRoy Butler, NFL Player-Green Bay Packer, Lead Men's Health Discussion

Media Contact: Angela Adams, angela.adams@wfhc.org, 414-465-3145

Milwaukee - Nearly 200 African American men and their families gathered at Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Campus Tuesday, July 23, for a candid discussion about men’s health among African Americans.

Compared to the general population, African American men are disproportionately affected by diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Inspired by overcoming childhood health problems, LeRoy Butler, NFL Player-Green Bay Packer, Hall of Famer and inventor of the "Lambeau Leap," shared stories of what it took to overcome his own personal health issues. He encouraged men to put aside being “macho” and lead the health efforts for themselves and their families.

“I had a recent health scare that made me think hard about how much I want to be around for my two year old son’s wedding someday,” stated Butler during the keynote address. “I believe that Wheaton Franciscan saved my life by educating me on what I need to do to get and stay healthy … now I have a buddy system where a group of friends check on one another and encourage each other to stay healthy.”

Butler acknowledged that he is a frequent user and unofficial promoter of Brain Brawn & Body – a unique website dedicated to the health and wellness of African American men. He also participated in a panel discussion moderated by Eric Von, local personality and website founder. The panel consisted of a group of healthcare leaders who were passionate about educating men and their families on taking charge of their health.

"African American men face huge risk factors for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and other debilitating conditions. The statistics … [are] staggering,” stated Debra Standridge, President of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – North Market.

Standridge explained that cardiovascular, respiratory, and pancreas or colon issues are the three areas of the body that account for nearly 75% of African American male cases at Wheaton’s St. Joseph Campus Emergency Department over the past year. She further encouraged attendees to set up a proactive game plan adding, “The best offense is a good defense!”

Heeding Standridge’s advice, several attendees took advantage of the free health screenings conducted by Wheaton associates. In addition to those who came away with optimal blood pressure readings, 18 participants learned they were pre-hypertensive and seven had hypertensive readings in which one man was sent to the emergency room and subsequently admitted to the hospital.

Wheaton is concerned about the health of the community in the area of our St. Joseph Campus,” stated Theresa Jones, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Strategies for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

“The Men’s Health Panel is a creative way to reach African American men and help the topic of their health to become a part of normal, everyday conversation.”