Did you know that June is Men’s Health Month? Well, to inform the community of the occasion, Affinity Health Plan, the Institute for Family Health at North General and the New York State Office of General Services hosted the third annual Get Screened, Get Clean health fair in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Building on 125th Street Thursday, June 14.

Community liaison Samantha Rogers said that she was prompted to start the program after losing men in her family due to health causes, her father from a heart attack and two of her uncles to prostate cancer. Her hope is that men will be more open to seeing their physicians regularly to help prevent what happened to her and her family from happening to their families.

To make Get Screened, Get Clean a little more fun, the event was set up so that if the men participating got 10 or more of the offered health screenings, they would receive a free hair cut, just in time for Father’s Day.

Affinity Health Plan Communications Manager Carmina Perez explained, “We want to promote health in the community in a fun way.” Offered were screenings for glaucoma, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, BMI, HIV, kidney, dental and many others. Perez said, “You can get a full checkup with all the screenings we’re offering.”

Rogers said it is common for men “to wait until they are really sick or until a woman in their family forces them to go to the doctor.” She said this program is to encourage men to see their physicians, and the reward of a free haircut would have the men looking their best for Father’s Day, and men trust their barbers.

At last year’s health fair, Rogers said they had about 300 to 350 participants and that 110 got free haircuts since not everyone gets through the entire process. Rogers was confident that the numbers would continue to grow. This year, over 3,000 people attended the health fair and 62 men got free haircuts.