POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 6:52am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm
Blue Cross and Community Groups to Host Southern University Tailgate Event to Promote Awareness of Prostate Cancer Screening
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) and a group of community partners will promote prostate cancer awareness at a tailgate event before this Saturday’s Southern University football game vs. Tennessee State. The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at the northeast corner of Southern’s Ace W. Mumford Stadium and feature one-on-one physician consultations, handouts, food, giveaways and entertainment. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month nationwide.
“Our company’s mission is to improve the lives of Louisianians by providing health guidance and affordable access to quality care,” said Kellie Irving, director of diversity and inclusion at Blue Cross. “One of our most important health guidance initiatives is to reduce health disparities in Louisiana.”
Irving said this health disparities initiative is designed to increase awareness of, prevent and/or manage four major diseases through 2010. They are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, childhood obesity, and prostate and colon cancer.
BCBSLA, in partnership with the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, Southern University’s Athletic Department and the SU Quarterback Club are hosting a series of awareness events encouraging education, screenings and preventive care for the four identified conditions.
Louisiana has one of the poorest health records in the nation. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, childhood obesity and prostate and colon cancer disproportionally affect all Louisianians at all socioeconomic levels in comparison to other states. Louisiana also has the third largest African-American population in the United States, and all four of these conditions hit African-Americans harder than the overall population. For example, African-American men have a mortality rate from prostate cancer about 2.5 times greater than Caucasian men.
“BCBSLA is partnering with community organizations to close the gap on the occurrence of these diseases through education and awareness,” Irving said. “We’re working to educate the industry on health trends, enhance communication between the patient and provider, encourage the community to access care, share methods of prevention and promote a proactive role in care — such as selecting a primary care physician, scheduling annual screenings and knowing your numbers.”