Roanoke organizations and Virginia Tech Carilion to host discussion about generational health

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:07 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s a group of men working to make sure fathers and men recognize the importance of putting their health first.

They are teaming up to bring nationally-renowned cancer center director Dr. Robert Winn to Roanoke to talk about Generational Health.

It’ll be a discussion about Black men and the health disparities they face.

As a pulmonologist with a focus on lung cancer, Dr. Winn was the director of one of only 71 cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead its research and training. At the VCU Massey Cancer Center, he is focused on eliminating health disparities and building a model for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the oncology workforce.

Winn, however, believes the health and well-being of a community begin at home. He encourages men to think about their own health and how it impacts their families and beyond.

“One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer, and the fact of the matter is that it could be prevented in many of them. Proper screening is the first step toward reversing these numbers and increasing overall health,” said Winn. “Men matter! Having a dialogue about cancer prevention is not a suggestion; it is critical to the well-being of every man and to the foundation of every community.”

Dr. William Lee, the founding chairman of New Horizons Healthcare in Roanoke, will also join in the conversation.

Ryan Bell, the founder of Black Father Family, was thrilled that Winn eagerly agreed to visit Roanoke for the talk and to meet with individuals and organizations in the community.

“Dr. Winn is a national leader in the field of cancer research, and we are very thankful that he is taking the time to visit our community and share how important it is for Black fathers to maintain their health,” said Bell. “The generational health is the beginning of those conversations, right-- really examining those health disparities amongst black men. How can we better put ourselves in a position to leave a legacy of health and well-being? And then how do institutions that work with black men better support black men and leave that legacy.”

In addition to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, sponsors of the talk include Black Father Family, United Way of Roanoke Valley, New Horizons Healthcare, and Alpha Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14.

It is open to the public and free of charge with a suggested donation to Black Father Family, but registration is required. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

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