Unleashing the Power of Men's Health: Whittier Street Health Center to Shine Spotlight on Equity and Access

Critical conversations about men’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being

Whittier Street Health Center, Boston

Whittier Street Health Center, a community health center dedicated to providing high-quality and accessible healthcare and social services to achieve health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of a diverse patient population, is holding its Annual Men's Health Summit on Saturday, June 22, 2024. The event, themed Unleash the Power of Health: Awareness. Prevention. Education. Family, will draw more than 300 community leaders, healthcare professionals, and residents to the Frederica M. Williams Building in Roxbury.

The Annual Men's Health Summit is one of the flagship events for Whittier Street Health Center, aimed at addressing the gaps and disparities in healthcare that continue to disproportionately impact men, especially those from marginalized communities. This year's summit will explore strategies to advance men's health, raise awareness about the importance of engaging men to improve their well-being, and provide valuable health education resources and access to care.

"The life expectancy for U.S. men is nearly six years less than women. This is often due to higher instances of life-threatening conditions and not getting regular health checkups or preventative screenings. Our Men's Health Summit is a crucial platform to shine a light on the preventable causes that contribute to increased morbidity, mortality rates, and decreased life expectancy for men, particularly men of color," said Frederica M. Williams, President and CEO of WSHC. "By fostering open and engaging discussions, we strive to ensure that all men achieve better health outcomes, grounded in equity and social justice."

The event will feature a health fair, health screenings, and a panel discussion on topics such as mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. Among the honorees for this year's summit will be Massachusetts State Representative, Christopher J. Worrell; Suffolk County House of Corrections Supervisor of Reintegration, Nicholas Lahage; Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General and Director of Environmental Justice, Marcus Holmes, Esq.; Lead Physician of WSHC’s Wellness and Specialty Services, Joseph Marcel-Saint-Louis DeMertine, MD MPH; and keynote speaker, Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden.

Hayden will speak about his office’s initiatives regarding post-incarceration reentry programs and how to reduce the burden of criminalization on low-income communities. 

"Our health, particularly Black men’s health, is of the utmost importance because individual health is the prerequisite for collective health, and in our urban areas today, the collective health of Black men—due primarily to gun violence—is not just a concern. It’s a public health crisis,” said Kevin R. Hayden, Suffolk County District Attorney.

Whittier Street Health Center's commitment to improving the health and well-being of the male population in greater Boston’s most marginalized populations is evident in the success of the Annual Men's Health Summit. Historically, hundreds of patients have attended the event, showcasing the center's dedication to promoting health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of its diverse populations.

Source: Whittier Street Health Center