CLEVELAND — The Minority Men’s Health Fair, an annual event that puts a bigger focus on educating Northeast Ohio's African American communities, is making its new home at the MetroHealth system.
The longstanding event started 17 years ago by Dr. Charles Modlin who wanted to address the disproportionate disease rates in African American men. Research shows fatality rates decrease with early detection of preventable diseases.
One of the men who has benefitted from this fair is Ron Kisner, whose life changed 6 years ago when he got a kidney.
The Cleveland native had dealt with hypertension for the majority of his life.
“For a good deal of my life and for part of that time I had no idea that there was an association between hypertension and kidney function,” he said.
It wasn’t until he went to the Minority Men’s Health Fair and met Modlin that he got a grip on his health.
“They got me into a primary care physician which I never had and as I was going further along into this kidney situation, kidney failure he got a nephrologist which is a kidney specialist. Over time I was stable for a while but then my numbers really started going in a negative direction," Modlin said.
Kisner went on dialysis as he waited on the kidney transplant list.
“In about two and a half years I was fortunate enough to be called to get a kidney,” he said.
It was Modlin who performed the kidney transplant, saving Kisner’s life.
“Men of color have higher rates of chronic disease states, health inequities, health disparities,” said Modlin.
This year MetroHealth is hosting the fair.
“A lot of times men think that if they don't have any signs or symptoms or pain or discomfort there's nothing wrong with them, they don't need to get a health check and that can't be further from the truth,” Modlin said.
Kisner agrees and is now thriving with his new kidney. He is now a devoted volunteer at the fair and hopes more men take pride in getting checked.
“Every year that I've volunteered I have found out men that have come there has found out that they had something they had no idea it was happening health-wise in their bodies,” Kisner said.
The Minority Men’s Health Fair kicks off on April 28 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at three of MetroHealth’s locations: Main Campus Outpatient Pavilion, Cleveland Heights Health Center and Broadway Health Center. Reservations are not required, but online registration is strongly encouraged.
Click here for more info.
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