Last week, Congressmen Jon Runyan (R-NJ) and Heath Shuler (D-NC), both former athletes in the National Football League, founded the Congressional Men's Health Caucus. The newly-formed bi-partisan group -- which is officially registered as a Congressional Member Organization (CMO) - will focus on raising awareness of health issues that affect men, boys, and their families. To further its objectives, the caucus will also collaborate with the nationally-recognized Men's Health Network. The non-profit organization has participated in past efforts and events to bring attention to certain illnesses that affect veterans.
"One of the stubborn facts of life is that men, whether they work on the gridiron or in the office, are less likely to take time out to secure the health care they may need," said Rep. Runyan. "Many of the chronic health problems that men deal with are actually preventable and treatable if they are addressed in the early stages. The combined efforts of the Caucus and the Men's Health Network are to highlight a number of these problems and hopefully encourage men to take preventative measures as well as the steps necessary to preserve their health."
"Lack of awareness and poor health education are two of the main reasons that men's health in the United States has been on a steady decline in recent years," said Rep. Shuler. "Men today are less likely to have annual medical exams or seek preventative care that can often stop health problems and disease before they even start. By promoting awareness and serving as a reliable resource for health education, this bipartisan caucus will improve the health of men and boys across the country and help turn this negative trajectory around."
Expressing strong support for the creation of such a group, Theresa Morrow, President of Women Against Prostate Cancer, shared the following: "The health of men in the U.S. is such a pressing issue and we are delighted that Congressmen Runyan and Shuler are taking the lead on the formation of the Congressional Men's Health Caucus. The caucus will be an excellent resource to help educate Members of Congress and the public about the health concerns that affect men and their families."
The Congressional Men's Health Caucus is the latest CMO to be recognized by the House of Representatives and is open to both male and female Members of the House and Senate.