COLUMBUS (WCMH) – One of the biggest health campaigns in Columbus returned in person on Saturday.
Last year the African American Male Wellness Walk took place virtually, but this year it returned to Livingston Park.
The event is about raising health awareness among men, especially African American men, as the likelihood of dying from preventable diseases is ten times higher. The event and the organization behind it, the African American Male Wellness Agency, want to change that narrative.
“Today is a day to celebrate,” said Marlon Platt, executive director of the African American Male Wellness Agency.
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Most importantly, it is a day to remind people of the importance of making your own health a priority and to remind others of the challenges many face in the healthcare system, such as being or being uninsured Not having confidence in health care providers.
“This is a way for insured and uninsured to get the proper screening so they may get the treatment and medication they need to keep their health in check,” said participant James Price.
For this reason, organizers and local partners make sure that every year it is not just about the 5K, but also about the free health tests offered and learning more about how to stay healthy.
“Heart disease is the number one killer of African American men,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Public Health Director. “It’s also the number one killer for men in general. We know that heart disease can be controlled through exercise, eating right, and reducing stress. These are all things that we have to work on. “
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In addition to screenings and other medical information, COVID-19 vaccinations were available to all eligible participants.
Marcus Ross was one of many who contributed to the event and hopes others will consider contributing as well.
“I just wanted to come out and support the event,” said Ross.
Police Assistant Lashanna Potts’ Columbus Division said that although she was part of the walk for the first time on Saturday, she’s happy to be in her new community and part of a bigger conversation.
“I want people to be healthy and have their best lives,” said Potts.
NBC 4, led by Kerry Charles and Matt Barnes, was also on hand to show its support.