For Immediate Release
Dr. Salvatore J. Girogianni
Men’s Health Caucus
Washington, DC – Last week, the American Public Health Association Men’s Health Caucus recognized Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and John Barrow (D-GA) for their work to upgrade and enhance the process employed by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in making evidence based recommendations about clinical preventive services.
In May 2012 the USPSTF issued a recommendation against the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, the primary method for the early detection of prostate cancer. A negative rating from the USPSTF weakens PSA testing and could deprive thousands of men, particularly those from high-risk populations such as African Americans, of potentially lifesaving conversations with their doctors and families, since early prevention remains the key to combating the disease.
Since then, numerous health organizations, policymakers, and researchers have identified inconsistencies in the USPSTF decision-making process and have called for greater input from patient representatives and government agencies.
Concerns over the recent USPSTF recommendations prompted Congressmen Blackburn and Barrow to introduce H.R. 5998, the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012, which is designed to enhance transparency and encourage a patient-centered approach to decisions that affect the long-term health of millions of Americans.
Congressmen Blackburn and Barrow were each presented with the Outstanding Political Leadership in Men’s Health Award in their congressional offices on Capitol Hill. The award is intended to honor policymakers who recognize and promote the importance of good health among American men, boys and their families. Photos from the presentation can be found here.
The mission of the Men’s Health Caucus (MHC), as an officially recognized special interest area of the American Public Health Association, is to bring together academic, federal, state and local health departments, private and non-profit organizations with a common interest in improving and the health and well-being of men and boys and their families. The MHC coordinates a diverse, multidisciplinary, and coordinated approach and group to better tackle public health issues within our communities.