Check Up! Or Check Out! Targets African American Males For Chronic Disease Screening

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

October 30, 2007

This Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has developed a coordinated program toward addressing health disparities titled Check Up! or Check Out! (CUCO).

Developed by the Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control's Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section, CUCO targets African American males as they are more likely than whites to have poor health and to die prematurely.

Statistics show that 36 percent of African American males do not live to reach sixty-five. The CUCO program focuses on empowering African American males to take charge of their healthcare and to improve their quality of life.

CUCO targets African American men that are residents of Detroit, are between the ages of 18-64, and who have health insurance. It seeks to accomplish three main goals:

- Increase knowledge of their health risks.

- Increase knowledge of what they can do to improve their health.

- Increase their willingness to go to the doctor for health visits and screenings, even though they may feel healthy.

CUCO has partnered with Molina Healthcare, a major Detroit managed care organization, to embark on a campaign to achieve the program's goals. As part of that partnership, a collaborative implementation plan was formulated between CUCO and Molina Healthcare. A major focal point of this plan is establishing and maintaining a personal relationship between CUCO participants and their primary care physician, thereby allowing them to actively participate in their health care.

CUCO activities have resulted in an on-going electronic and print media campaign consisting of radio interviews (2), television and cable interviews (2), and newspaper, magazine, and opinion editorials (6). More than 30 direct presentations have been made to community and faith-based organizations, civic groups, fraternal organizations, social and human services agencies, and minority health entities.

CUCO also has a Community Advisory Group (CAG) and a Speakers Bureau in place. The purpose of the CAG is to strategically guide the CUCO initiative through the collective expertise of its members. The CUCO Speakers Bureau consists of community leaders, activists, professionals, and persons living with various health conditions. Speakers Bureau members are responsible for disseminating accurate and timely information on racial and ethnic health disparities within the City of Detroit and across the state.

For further information about the Check UP! or Check Out! Program, please contact Patrick Jackson, Program Coordinator, at (313) 456-4417 or jacksonp@michigan.gov.