Dr. William Sorensen, assistant professor in health and kinesiology at The University of Texas at Tyler, has received a grant to implement a men's health awareness program in Tyler, Dr. Arlene Horne, associate vice president for research and federal relations, announced.
The $63,025 grant awarded by the Texas Department of State Health Services will help create a multi-month prostate cancer awareness campaign.
Working with DSHS officials in Austin, Sorensen also will conduct secondary research, surveying elderly men and primary care physicians in Tyler.
UT Tyler graduate student Terrence Ates of Tyler and undergraduate Sebastian Broussard of St. Louis, Mo. will assist Sorensen with the project.
"We will focus on the community awareness campaign, using media messages and public health messages to target venues in Tyler," said Sorensen. "We're trying to induce elderly men to engage more in conversations about prostate heath to their physicians. The idea here is to try to enlighten men, make them feel comfortable or at least aware, that there's this organ that needs constant vigilance just as much as the heart or any other organ in the body instead of just ignoring it or not talking about it at all."
Campaigns will be implemented in both Tyler as well as Wichita Falls, which the Department of State Health Services selected to receive individual grants.
According to Sorensen, one in five men will develop prostate cancer, and statistics show an increased cancer problem in East Texas, compared to other regions in the state.
"They were very specific to offering this to us," Sorensen said. "They were looking more at mid-size cities, and both cities are in the East Texas area."