The statistics say it all: Men are 1.4 times more likely than women to die from almost any chronic disease and live an average of five years less than women, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
A nationwide survey in May shows a third of men don’t think they need annual health checks. Additionally, 65% think they are healthier than others, and 40% get their medical information and advice from social media.
Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health is designed to change these statistics by giving men access to a coordinated system of specialists and primary care providers to put them on the path to better health. In June, the program opened a location at 1262 Post Road in Fairfield.
At the center of the program is a Men’s Health Nurse Navigator who helps connect patients with needed providers and creates a personalized care plan based on their individual needs. For men who do not have a primary care provider, the nurse navigator will connect them with one in their community. In addition to urology, the specialist team includes cardiology, digestive health, behavioral health, medical and surgical weight loss providers.
“A lot of men don’t like going to the doctor. The mentality is if it ain’t broke, why fix it? says Keith O’Brien, MD, chief of urology at St. Vincent Medical Center in Bridgeport and medical director of Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute in Fairfield County. “The concept of Tallwood Men’s Health is to bring together different specialists under one roof to help patients connect with providers, which creates better patient outcomes.”
On their first visit to Men’s Health, patients are asked to complete a Men’s Health checklist to ensure they are up to date on preventative screenings. The age-appropriate checklist includes screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, colorectal health and PSA screening for prostate cancer. Weight management and behavioral health are also discussed, as they are often directly linked to other health issues.
“Preventive screenings help us catch things before they become a problem,” says Dr. O’Brien. “We want to help people follow a healthy path that matches their lifestyle.”