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September 14, 2010 > Men's Health Fair Focuses on Health From Head to Toe

Men's Health Fair Focuses on Health From Head to Toe

Fair Features Physician Speakers and Free Health Screenings

Men of all ages have a lot going on - from family commitments and school or work, to staying fit and playing hard on the weekends or enjoying recreation during retirement. As a result, thoughts of health often fall into last place until an unexpected injury or illness puts the brakes on.

If you've been meaning to take that first step toward better health and avoiding illness and injury, a good place to start is Washington Hospital's Third Annual Men's Health Fair - Men's Health: Head to Toe.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, kicked off with lectures by
physician experts, and then followed by the health fair, which will include free health screenings like blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar (diabetes) and cholesterol, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dr. Jon-Cecil Walkes, medical director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington Hospital, will serve as the moderator and keynote speaker during the physician lectures. Dr. Walkes, who studied under well-known cardiac surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey while at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, is pioneer of the least-invasive technique available for repairing and replacing the tiny valves inside the heart.

"The Men's Health Fair is a valuable opportunity for men in our community to learn more about health conditions common to men, including those silent ailments, like heart disease and stroke, that need to be addressed before they lead to a serious event," Dr. Walkes says. "By attending the health fair, men can get the facts and also receive useful screenings that can help them have an informed conversation with their primary care physician about how to improve their overall health."


The heart of the matter

Dr. Walkes says his presentation at the fair will revolve around the No. 1 leading cause of death in the United States.

"I plan to focus on signs and symptoms of heart disease," he says. "I will discuss minimally invasive heart surgery a bit as well."

For men entering their 40s, it's a particularly good idea to learn the facts about heart disease, according to Walkes.

"There are multiple risk factors, which makes this a discussion that is targeted at all men in this age group," he says.

Typically, Dr. Walkes finds that his patients want to know their risk for heart disease and what to look out for. He points out that by seeking information and making appropriate lifestyle changes now attendees of the health fair can help prevent a potential health crisis later.

"They can help avoid what can be a debilitating event, namely having a heart attack or stroke," he says.


Calling all weekend warriors and high school athletes

Physical activity - or a lack thereof - has an enormous impact on health, from heart disease to diabetes, which is good reason not to let an injury sideline you.

During the fair, audience members will hear from featured speaker and Medical Director of the Washington Township Medical Group's Sports Medicine Program, Russell Nord, M.D., who will tackle a very common and highly painful injury - meniscus tears in the knee.

"This is a very common type of injury and treatments can vary," Dr. Nord explains. "Oftentimes patients can be treated without surgery; however in other cases meniscus tears need to be trimmed or repaired. I'll review the anatomy of the knee and teach the audience how these injuries occur. Then we will discuss the symptoms associated with meniscal tears so that listeners will be aware of when they should consider seeking treatment."

These tears, he says, can happen at any age.

"An acute tear typically happens in younger to middle aged people through a twisting maneuver or other injury to the knee," Dr. Nord explains. "The other class of tear is more wear and tear, and that can occur in middle aged and older adults. I've treated meniscus tears in patients that are in high school as well as those in their eighties."

As far as the treatment for meniscus tears, Dr. Nord says the younger the patient, the more options there are.

"There's no lower limit to age as far as who will benefit from learning about meniscus tears," he says. "Young men up through men in middle age are the ones who will benefit the most."

Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done to prevent meniscus tears, according to Dr. Nord. However, to the patient in pain, treatment is essential.

"Certainly anyone having knee pain, which could be the result of a tear, should come to the talk," he says. "Most people know someone who has had a meniscus tear, and the lecture will help make sense of this diagnosis, which is perhaps the most common knee injury."


Improve your health from head to toe

The Third Annual Men's Health Fair at Washington Hospital will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, in the Conrad E. Anderson M.D. Auditorium, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in the Washington West building in Fremont.

Registration for the event is required. Register online at www.whhs.com or call (800) 963-7070.

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