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UH Cutler Center for Men Research Initiatives to Revolutionize Men’s Health

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Innovations in Urology | Fall 2023

Experts at the University Hospitals Cutler Center for Men are collaborating with Case Western Reserve University to launch several studies approved by the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) that are aimed at broadening the understanding of men’s health needs and improving outcomes.

“Looking at the most common causes of death within the United States, men are lagging behind women,” says Randy Vince, MD, MS, a urologic oncologist within the University Hospitals Urology Institute, Minority Men’s Health Director for the UH Cutler Center for Men. “We know that men are less likely than women to take care of their health, see a physician or report concerning symptoms. As a result, they are expected to live substantially shorter lives.”

Nationally, less than 50 percent of men have a primary care provider or seek help for depression. Additionally, men’s average U.S. lifespan is seven years shorter than women’s. The reality is even more bleak for minority men.

UH Cutler Center’s Innovative Care Delivery

Each year in Cleveland, 250,000 fewer men see a doctor than women. “We know that too many men are missing annual appointments and crucial preventive screenings,” says Dr. Vince. “When you extrapolate that out to minority men, the gap in health and life expectancy is substantially greater.”

The UH Cutler Center for Men is on a mission to make healthcare more approachable and accessible through visionary programs that meet men of all backgrounds where they are via community engagement and bespoke patient navigation services. The center’s flagship location opened this summer on Cleveland’s East Side, gathering multiple subspecialties within a central hub to reduce barriers to seeking care, including:

Multi-disciplinary men's health space prioritizes innovation and comfort.Multi-disciplinary men's health space prioritizes innovation and comfort.

Initiatives such as jazz night and football watch parties bring men together and keep community engagement front of mind. “Our overarching goal is to raise awareness that we are a resource men can tap into,” says Dr. Vince. “If we are able to connect our members to earlier interventions, we can minimize downstream consequences of the most common disease states, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.”

IRB-Approved Studies Under Way

Several research projects are in place to evaluate the impact of the UH Cutler Center on improving men’s health literacy and health outcomes. Sarah Koopman Gonzalez, PhD, a research scientist at Case Western Reserve University, has partnered with the UH Cutler Center for Men for several years, gathering data that are illuminating men’s challenges and facilitators in accessing healthcare.

“We have an ongoing formative evaluation under way,” says Koopman Gonzalez. “The goal of the study is to inform the center’s operations and services and provide contextual understanding of current men’s health needs.” Researchers are recruiting members of the center, as well as men who are not UH patients, who are interested in participating in focus groups. Lee Ponsky, MD, Chair of the UH Urology Institute, and Professor at CWRU School of Medicine, is the study’s principal investigator (PI).

Survey of Men’s Minority Health Initiatives

Dr. Vince is the PI for a second IRB-approved study focused on understanding the impact of the UH Cutler Center’s minority men’s health initiatives.

“We are conducting survey research to understand who is coming to events and how their healthcare knowledge might increase as they engage with the UH Cutler Center for Men,” says Koopman Gonzalez. “Also, we are looking at whether participants’ health behaviors are changing — are health screenings or preventive care rates improving?”

Literature Review

A medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and another partner of the program, Holly Hartman, PhD also of Case Western Reserve University, are assisting with a literature review of men’s health centers across the country.

“Looking at peer-reviewed literature, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the history of men's health centers and the spectrum of services offered,” says Koopman Gonzalez. “Our goal is to see how the UH Cutler Center Men is placed among other men’s health initiatives and identify best practices or gaps in services as we look at successful ways to meet men’s health needs from a holistic perspective. We know what we’re doing at University Hospitals is different, even improved, and this literature review gives us a chance to quantify that.”

For more information about University Hospitals Cutler Center for Men and partnership inquiries, please contact Dr. Vince at Randy.Vince@UHhospitals.org

For research-specific questions email Sarah.KoopmanGonzalez@UHhospitals.org.

About UH Cutler Center for Men
University Hospitals Cutler Center for Men provides men with unprecedented and uncomplicated access to the health experts, services and resources needed for a lifetime of good physical, mental and emotional health. Driving men’s health initiatives across the organization, UH Cutler Center for Men aims to close the healthcare gender gap and improve the length and quality of guys’ lives.

Contributing Experts:
Randy Vince, Jr., MD, MS
Urologic Oncologist
University Hospitals Urology Institute
Minority Men’s Health Director
University Hospitals Cutler Center for Men
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Urology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Sarah Koopman Gonzalez, PhD
Research Scientist
Case Western Reserve University

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