Pam Beers, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Baylor Medical Center at Irving has been with the project from its inception.
“It got started because we recognized that men don’t want to go to the doctor, but they’ll come to something free like this, a less threatening environment,” she said.
Although Beers’ statement might sound as pejorative as a wife telling her husband that he never asks for directions, many of the men coming for testing completely concurred with her.
“Yeah, doctors tell you you’re too fat; you have to lose weight,” one of the men chuckled in agreement.
Another reason some men attend the event is because it is free.
“I’ve got all sorts of health issues,” one man said quietly. “Diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol’s high, all that kind of stuff. Also, I’ve never had a prostate test, and I’m past that age where you’re supposed to have that done.”
Jim Woods, an elderly gentleman who has attended these types of clinics for 20 years, not only appreciates the service that Baylor provides but sees attendance as a form of good citizenship.
“I believe in the screening events especially for people my age, and I am trying to save the government money as these blood tests are not charged to them. If I get a blood test from Medicare it costs about $400. So I’m trying to save money for the government as well as saving for myself.”
Baylor Irving’s Senior Physician Liaison, Greg Davis, stressed that, above all, the focus of the event is on the community.
“We do this because we serve our community. We’re a community based institution, and it’s part of our service, part of our credo as Baylor to serve the community,” Davis said proudly.
He was quick to add, however, that “It’s a Guy Thing” is not free medicine.
“Its purpose is basically just to make men aware, and if there are any issues that arise during these screenings they need to go see their family medicine doctor. It’s overall health awareness,” he added.
One participant, Kalib, had a somewhat unique if not surprising reason for attending the screenings.
“A friend of mine suggested it for Father’s Day. Baylor does a health screening so I should get checked,” Kalib said.
But this trend seems to be growing as one woman working at the event intimated. In the past, the event was usually attended by men under the relatively close watch of their wives, but this year there were more fathers and sons coming out to support health and responsibility.
Everyone involved considered this year’s “It’s A Guy Thing” a success. They have made great steps towards health awareness in the community, and it appears that they are having a deep impact, as well. Not only do men have a better understanding of what they need to do in order to stay healthy, but they are beginning, as well, to recognize the strong link between their general health and their family.