The President's Cancer Panel of the National Institutes of Health in 2001 clearly stated, "Lack of accurate cancer-related information that is readily available, understandable, clear and delivered in a sensitive and culturally acceptable manner is a major contributor to the inability of patients and the public to obtain the most appropriate cancer prevention, treatment and supportive care." One way to at least partially address this situation is to create successful outreach programs, which educate men in order for them to make informed decisions about their personal risk of the disease as well as other conditions affecting their health.
Gentlemen Check Your Engines™ educational and health testing programs address these areas of concern and negative impact within the targeted communities and also serves to position those conditions of co-morbid disease conditions relating to policies that de-emphasize screening and early detection.
Gentlemen Check Your Engines™ workshops, seminars, conferences and other events facilitate obtaining information on how best to manage men's prostate health and other medical options, and enhance communications between men and their healthcare providers using the Harley-Davidson dealerships as a network of trust. Additionally the on-site screening and educational programs provide better initial access to and participation in the health care system.
The basic concept behind this initiative is that men pay more attention to their cars, motorcycles and other toys than to their personal health. Gentlemen Check Your Engines™ educational program focuses on utilizing a credible environment that is safe and comfortable, the Harley-Davidson dealership, and motivating men to come there for health information and screenings. The key innovative factors are found in the unique corporate partnership with Harley-Davidson dealers, healthcare providers and public health agencies to promote men's health in a unique way.
An important tangent to the basic core promotional effort has been the involvement of a women's initiative to encourage greater male participation in the educational and health screening activities. The experience from 2010's event in New Jersey, done in conjunction with the "St. Valentine's Day" promotion period, served to increase the numbers of men participating in the health event through the use of incentive items suitable for the women in their lives. As a result, we have expanded our focus to include women's health as part of the overall mission.
The Prostate Net® piloted this initiative in February 2008 as part of the Bergen County Cancer Coalition and in partnership with the local Harley-Davidson dealership. The initial effort brought almost 80 men and women into the showroom where they circulated through health stations and a mobile health van provided by the North Hudson FQHC, received a custom bandanna from The Prostate Net® and socialized in the dealership during the event.
The program continued into 2009 with a return to the Bergen County dealership as well as into Chicago and Atlanta. Participation increased to 2,861 men, as well as a surveyed increase in participation satisfaction with the event and a desire for continued efforts of its kind. In 2010 the program expanded further and we saw our first documented case wherein the educational effort resulted in the diagnosis of, several previously undiscovered cases, prostate cancer.
Additionally one of our World Wide Prostate Cancer Coalition partner organizations, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, tested the concept in two major communities in Australia with comparable success in education and on-going involvement with their prostate cancer support organizations.
The experience gained from the execution of this program over the past three years and in multiple markets has shown that information coming from a trusted source has a very significant impact on increasing awareness and education among men as well as motivating them to utilize the access to care afforded by the program.