Saturday men's health fair coincides with Father's Day weekend

·2 min read

Jun. 16—ALBANY — Dad probably doesn't need another necktie on Sunday, but convincing him to attend a weekend health fair could keep the old man around for a few more years of Father's Day celebrations.

The fair will include blood pressure and cholesterol checks, but for event organizer Darrell Sabbs said a couple of other things will have a bigger impact.

"Especially important to me is the PSA (prostate cancer screening)," said Sabbs, community events organizer for Phoebe Putney Health System. "That's at the top of health concerns."

Men often delay a doctor's visit, he said, and that frequently leads to grim outcomes in the form of unnecessary death or severe illness.

Another benefit of attending the health fair is a free COVID-19 vaccination.

"For me, it is the stats and the stats of men's health has always been a concern to me," Sabbs said. "We saw during COVID these men who had high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Those men died or got sicker because of the preconditions."

The Healthy Fathers, Healthy Families-themed event also will include a conversation in a setting that is familiar to the target audience as the setting will feature three barber chairs.

The Saturday health fair at the Billy C. Black Auditorium, located on the Albany State University campus, will be the 18th and coincides not only with Father's Day but Men's Health Week. Due to COVID, the 2020 health fair was a drive-through event.

"This is a conversation that starts every day in the barber shop, and we're going to bring it to life," Sabbs said of this year's version. "Ain't no boundaries in the barber shop. Men talk about (sports), they talk about girls.

"It's going to feel like you're in a barber shop. That's the effect I want. Everything starts with a conversation, so this is an opportunity for a conversation about your health. This is so cultural; you go there and you let your guard down. We're going to put on a show for you."

Screenings will be held from 8 a.m.-11 a.m., but the event will extend through lunch. Attendees also will get a fruit basket to take home.

Sabbs encouraged women and children to prod the man in their life to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I have guys bring their sons so they can see their daddy participating," he said. "Women protect the men more than any other people.

"The takeaway will be the screenings, a T-shirt, some fruit and a whole lot of knowledge."

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