Sauk Prairie Healthcare is hoping to get more men to use preventative healthcare with a new campaign touting the importance of annual checkups and preventative measures.
The campaign centers on an online campaign called “Tools For Men’s Health,” that focuses on top areas of concern facing men such as sleep issues, stress, high cholesterol and bladder and prostate issues.
Dr. Nathan Grunewald, a urologist with Sauk Prairie Healthcare since 2016, is one of several physicians who are helping to shape the future of men’s health in the Sauk Prairie area.
“Statistics have shown men would rather talk about their sports injuries than anything else,” Grunewald said. “There is this, ‘no way, no how,’ attitude when it comes to talking to a physician about anything below the belt. In fact, many would rather talk about their own death.”
Grunewald has encountered many men who don’t have a regular physician, so just getting them in the door is a hurdle.
“We have to work harder to keep men engaged in their health,” Grunewald said. “We can’t help you if you aren’t willing to talk.”
Many of the issues physicians feel are high of concern often are low on the list for their male patients.
Oftentimes the only reason a man will see a doctor is at the encouragement of a spouse.
“Many have told me they only scheduled a visit to get their spouse to stop nagging them,” Grunewald said.
Although Sauk Prairie Healthcare had programs and services in place, a men’s health steering committee was formed to address the issue of why men don’t go to the doctor as much as their female counterparts.
Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Vice President of Planning and Business Development Ken Carlson said it was the right time for Sauk Prairie Healthcare to focus on men’s health.
“For years, we’ve been asked the question, ‘You do things around women’s health, what about men?” Carlson said. “Sometimes it takes the right people to be involved. We got a few doctors from Sauk Prairie Healthcare and one from the Prairie Clinic and started having a conversation about men’s health and how we could promote certain messages.”
In addition to having an online presence, Sauk Prairie Healthcare also instituted a postcard campaign focused on six of the most relevant health concerns facing men over the next 18 months.
“We have a whole array of topics from nutrition and smoking cessation, cancer, general bladder and prostate concerns,” said Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Marketing and Communications Director Amy Carlson.
“Not everything has to mean surgery,” Grunewald said. “It’s our plan to just get the word out and educate our patients.”
Grunewald said in the future, healthcare will be built on partnerships between various healthcare institutions.
“My goal with this campaign is to get our male patients to a point where they are comfortable talking about any health concern they have,” Grunewald said. “In general, men believe it is perceived as a weakness for them to go to a doctor. It’s the same social norms that say a man shouldn’t cry in public.
“It is still very much a taboo topic for most men,” Grunewald said. “We are trying to break down the barriers for men to talk to someone about their health. It is our job as physicians to make sure our patients feel comfortable with it and make them feel at ease.”