March 08, 2005

CRAPO INTRODUCES BILL TO CREATE OFFICE OF MENâ??S HEALTH

Senator urges need for preventive care and public awareness

Washington, DC â??Under legislation introduced today, menâ??s health issues could see improvements in public awareness and education to promote preventive care. The Menâ??s Health Act, introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, would create an Office of Menâ??s Health at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The Menâ??s Health Act, if passed, would establish a clearinghouse for men to provide services parallel to the existing Office of Womenâ??s Health. Representative Duke Cunningham (R-California) has drafted companion legislation for the House. The need to better help men understand health problems and seek public awareness has been raised to both past HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and to newly-instated Secretary Mike Leavitt; Crapo hopes to elevate the discussion during this Congress. â??On average, American men live shorter and less healthy lives than American women,â?? Crapo said. â??Statistically, women visit the doctor far more often than men. Too often, men fail to get routine checkups or health counseling and they often ignore symptoms or delay seeking medical attention when sick or in pain. Irregular contact with doctors means many men donâ??t receive any preventive care for potentially life-threatening conditions. In addition, when men do seek care, embarrassment can often prevent them from openly discussing health concerns with their physicians.â?? Since he was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in January 2000, Crapo has become an advocate for menâ??s health issues, both in Idaho and in Congress. He has sponsored the Mike Crapo Health Awareness booths at regional fairs in Idaho for the past three years, and introduced similar legislation to create the Office of Menâ??s Health in the last Congress. â??Creating this office will serve as a preemptive step that could save lives,â?? Crapo added. â??While an Office of Menâ??s Health is not a cure-all, it will assist men to focus on many health problems that can be treated successfully if diagnosed early. In addition, it will help save individual and government resources by helping to prevent costly diseases and conditions. Prevention and early detection can only happen with increased public awareness, something the proposed office hopes to provide.â?? # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.