Men encouraged to know their ‘stats’
Public service campaign features 3 Dayton athletes.
Former University of Dayton basketball player Roosevelt Chapman has joined with the Community Health Centers of Dayton and Molina Healthcare to produce a public service announcement encouraging all men to visit their doctors and know their “stats” or numbers. Chapman is shown after completing his video shoot at Trent Arena in Kettering with Sam Manavis (front) and his team from Manavision, the company contracted to shoot the videos.
Former professional football player Keith Byars is shown shooting his public service announcement around men’s health. Byars (holding jersey) is shown with Sam Manavis of ManaVision and his team who handled the video shoots.
By Beth Anspach
Contributing Writer

Statistics show that both men and women visit the doctor frequently throughout childhood and at similar rates. But starting at age 18, young men tend to stop getting physicals or visiting their primary care physicians regularly.

According to Gregory Hopkins, executive director of the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, women of child-bearing age tend to be more motivated to take care of their health, while young men seem more willing to maintain their cars rather than their own bodies.

“All Federally Qualified Health Centers collect and submit data of all types each year to the federal government,” Hopkins said.

“This gives us an opportunity to benchmark ourselves against the other 1,400 health centers across the country.”

Hopkins also noticed that this decline in seeking health care in the male population has nothing to do with race, background or living conditions. Instead, he thinks it has to do with men developing a “feeling of invincibility.”

“In urban centers where there is a larger percentage of minority patients and in areas with a very small minority population, the data looks the same,” Hopkins said.

To address this and possibly connect it to the lower life expectancy rate in men, Hopkins and the Community Health Centers started conducting annual men’s health fairs and offered free health screenings and education for men.

Then 2020 and the COVID-19 global pandemic caused all such health fairs and public events to be canceled.

“We knew we needed to keep the momentum going, and we wanted to appeal to a larger audience,” Hopkins said.

The “Men Know Your Numbers” public service campaign was Hopkins’ brainchild, and he hoped to engage several well-known Dayton athletes as spokespersons. 

Chuck Vella, a local public relations professional and owner of vellaINC who had worked with Hopkins on other campaigns, was called upon to help develop the new men’s campaign. After working to engage a managed Medicaid company to potentially underwrite it, Vella and Hopkins were pleased when Molina Healthcare of Ohio agreed to sponsor the campaign.

“The next thing we needed to do was engage some athletes,” Vella said. “I contacted Tom Archdeacon and asked if he could help connect us.”

Hopkins and Vella, along with Archdeacon, an award-winning sports columnist for the Dayton Daily News, identified Olympian track and field star Edwin C.

Moses, former University of Dayton basketball player and leading scorer Roosevelt Chapman, and former OSU star and NFL player Keith Byars and told them about the campaign. All three jumped at the opportunity to participate free of charge.

“All three of these guys were so wonderful to work with,” Vella said. “They are all gentlemen and want to be part of this solution.”

Vella and Hopkins put together a budget and enlisted Sam Manavis of ManaVision in Oakwood to manage the videography and hired a graphic designer to develop print ads. Chapman and Byars came to Dayton to shoot their spots and Manavas and his crew travelled to Atlanta to film Moses. An assortment of video PSAs began running in April on local television stations. Radio spots are also running, as well as digital print banners. The call to action is a simple request urging men to choose a primary care doctor or call the Community Health Center for help.

“The campaign features Moses, Chapman and Byars discussing how they focused on their ‘stats’ throughout their respective athletic careers,” Hopkins said. “And then reminding all men that it’s important to know and maintain their own numbers or health indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and PSA levels.”

Hopkins emphasized that while all three spokespersons are Black men, this is not the only population that the data reflects.

“It doesn’t matter what insurance men have or how much money they make, nor the color of their skin,” Hopkins said. “The data is for the entire state and shows that most males simply stop visiting their doctors once they become adults.”

The goal of this campaign is to encourage all men to take better care of their bodies and to see their doctors regularly, though the only way to measure the effectiveness is by looking at the data and comparing it year to year.

“This is just good public service,”

Vella said. “There has been a lot of positive feedback about the campaign so far and we hope it will continue.”