On a recent overcast day, the Watts Healthcare Corporation held its annual Watts Men’s Health Fair (WMHF) and attracted more than 1,400 people. About 800 participants received screenings to determine their health status regarding blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, cholesterol levels, cancer detection, and other health concerns.

“I understand that as an African American man, my chance of getting prostate cancer is higher than any other ethnic demographic,” said Percy Fugett, a real estate agent from Inglewood. “The testing is free, and it is something that I hope all of the men get tested for today.”

In an effort to attract men to this second annual WMHF, the Watts Healthcare Corporation incorporated a car show featuring some of the latest motor vehicles. They were on display with wide, shiny rims, convertible tops, flamboyant colors, and high-turbo engines.

The automobile exhibition was part of WMHF’s goal to get more men involved. “We recognize that it is important to get men to come out and participate regarding getting their health evaluated,” said Dr. Roderick Seamster, chief medical officer of the Watts Healthcare Corporation. “Our committee decided that a great way to get men to come out would be to have a car show along with the health screenings. And with the various sponsors and people (who) come with (a car show), we look to get many men that we probably would not get otherwise.”

Dr. Seamster emphasized that men getting screened and taking the responsibility to have a regular annual physical examination is important to not only help them live healthy lives but to successfully raise their families. This is especially true regarding Black men in the Watts/Compton/Lynwood area of Los Angeles. “Through our efforts last year and definitely this year, we are able to help many people in the immediate communities around (Watts Healthcare Corporation) and inform them of the services that we provide,” Seamster added.

The doctor also indicated that the new healthcare bill authored by President Barack Obama fits into the plans and goals of the Watts Healthcare Corporation. “Being that we currently service patients not based on their ability or lack of ability to pay, President Obama’s plan will allow those who don’t have medical insurance the opportunity to get health insurance. It will influence more people to seek care, and they will come and find out that care was here (at Watts Healthcare Corporation). So, he’s going to make it possible for us to be able to, if you will, get reimbursed (for) some of the things we’ve been doing that we may not have been reimbursed for in the past. It will also allow us to expand our services.”

“It’s great that we are able to help people from this community,” said Men’s Health Awareness Committee Chairman Bryant Crook. “We just want to keep it going.”