The Standing Rock Story: How We Developed a Men's Health Day Program
From 2003 to 2010, we held 40 Men’s Health Days. We currently offer the event 7 times a year: March - Fort Yates, Wakpala, and McLaughlin in observance of Colorectal Cancer Awareness month; August - Cannon Ball; September - Fort Yates, Bullhead, and McLaughlin for Prostate Cancer Awareness month.
Through 2010, we have screened 816 men at these events. These tests have identified eight prostate cancers and five colorectal cancers. A total of 112 individuals (on average 2-3 per event) have been referred for treatment of other conditions, such as newly identified diabetes, elevated PSA, blood in the stool, high creatinine, hernias and hemorrhoids.
While the formal evaluation of the program is not complete, we know anecdotally that knowledge and awareness of screening has increased among participants through personal stories related to CHRs and Custer Health staff. The program has also increased awareness of the value of prevention and has promoted healthy living using a unifying theme Men’s Health: Keep the Spirit Strong. We are proud that 70% of participants return annually to the Men’s Health Day.
The Standing Rock Men’s Health Day program has resulted in a number of unexpected outcomes, such as the additional men’s health workshops which where developed based on the participants’ appreciation of the Men’s Health Day education stations and their desire to learn more. We have also been surprised by the number of men who participate in a Men’s Health Day as their preferred source of routine health care. Our success is also measured in the volume of requests we have received from other tribes and Urban Indian programs about how to conduct a successful Men’s Health Day and the number of opportunities we have had to draw attention to men’s health through Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs at state and regional/tribal levels as well as at national conferences through Spirit of E.A.G.L.E.S, and the other organizations. This success led us to develop this Men's Health Day Toolkit in partnershipwith Spirit of E.A.G.L.E.S.