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Programs combat health disparities

6/15/2010, 7:19 p.m.

One of Whittier’s innovative outreach programs is a Post-Prison Release program that involves a partnership with the Suffolk County House of Corrections. The program allows Whittier staff to meet with men prior to their release and conduct a health and social service needs assessment within the prison. Upon release, men receive help enrolling in health insurance, selecting a primary care physician and connecting to needed health and social services, including job training and housing support.

“The Post-Prison Release program is a critical means for us to reach men who would otherwise have no other place to turn. We are not only improving health, but also improving community safety and reducing recidivism rates by giving these men the support they need to regain control of their lives,” says Skerritt.

Another program that helps connect men to care is Whittier’s annual Men’s Health Summit. Held each summer, the summit includes free health screenings, health education, food, entertainment and community health awards. This year’s summit is slated for July 10 at the YMCA of Roxbury and will include a keynote address by Madieu Williams, the starting safety for the Minnesota Vikings and founder of the Madieu Williams Foundation, which focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education for underprivileged youth.

For more information about the summit or any other men’s health programs, please contact Dalton Skerritt at  617- 989-3028.