The Need for a Men's Health Day Program

The Standing Rock Story: How We Developed a Men's Health Day Program

In 1997 the North Dakota Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (Women’s Way) began conversations with the Standing Rock Tribal Health Community Health Representative Program and the Indian Health Service to establish women’s health screenings at Fort Yates, ND.  The concept was a one stop shop where women could get exams, mammograms and breast/cervical cancer education all in the same day.  A partnership was established and the program was launched in 1998. 

After six years of Women’s Way on the Standing Rock Reservation, tribal Community Health Representatives (CHRs) approached Custer Health, a five county multi-district health unit providing public health services in the region, to start a program for men. The organizational partners examined health screening data to illustrate the scope of need.  Indian Health Service records revealed that only 37 men over the age of 40 had a Prostate Specific Antigen test in 2001 and 2002 combined.  There are about 1400 men over the age of 40 who reside on the Standing Rock Reservation.

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