Spike TV launches men's health campaign with National Medical Association

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As part of Spike TV's mission to make a difference in men's lives, the network announces the launch of "Check Up or Check Out," a national pro-social campaign directed at improving men's health. The campaign was launched today with Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" campaign with Randall W. Maxey, M.D., Ph.D,. President of the National Medical Association, chairperson, The Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani and Albie Hecht, President of Spike TV spoke at the press conference where men's basic health screenings took place at Grand Central Terminal in the heart of New York City.

Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" campaign's overall goal is to register at least 100,000 men to visit their doctor for an annual physical by the end of 2004 and to have 1 million men by the end of 2005. Spike TV will support this multi-year campaign with more than $5 million including elements such as public service announcements (PSAs), original television programming, local community outreach and free health screening events, free print and online content. Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" campaign combines the public health expertise of the National Medical Association (NMA) and the Men's Health Network (MHN) with the power of Spike TV's male brand recognition and unmatched male-audience relationships to foster awareness of men's health needs, diseases and prevention.

"It is critical that we employ effective solutions to deal with the crisis facing African Americans, and particularly black men. Too many people in general and men in particular are suffering needlessly and are dying prematurely. I believe that this national campaign, Spike TV's 'Check Up or Check Out' is one solution that will stimulate men to see their physicians on an on-going basis and not wait until the problem is too severe to treat," said Randall W. Maxey, M.D., President of the National Medical Association.

The Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Mayor of New York signed on as Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" chairperson. In addition to Mayor Giuliani, Spike TV is assembling an advisory board that includes leading members of the medical community, medical/health advocates and celebrities to assist in bringing issues concerning men's health to the media forefront.

"Every man should have an annual physical examination. Too many men remain reluctant to visit the doctor on a regular basis, apparently believing that they can afford to wait until they don't feel well," says Mayor Giuliani. "In my case, a routine physical just may have saved my life, since that is how my doctor discovered that I had prostate cancer. Because of my annual physical, I found out early enough to treat it. Today, I am healthy. I applaud Spike TV for taking the lead with 'Check Up or Check Out' and I join them in urging men not to let a year go by without a thorough physical examination."

Research into the medical/health check-up habits of men reveal some startling statistics, especially when compared to women:

  • 7,000,000 men have not visited a doctor in 10 years (National Men's Health Foundation) ;

  • 230,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year (National Prostate Cancer Coalition);

  • 90% of testicular cancer cases are treatable, if caught early enough (American Cancer Society).

"An annual check-up is the most effective means as a first line of defense and the easiest preventative step for all diseases," says Albie Hecht, President of Spike TV "If only guys took care of themselves like they do their cars, just imagine how many health problems could be stopped at the start. You wouldn't let five years go by without changing your oil or spark plugs, would you?"

The major goal of Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" campaign is to have 100,000 men visit their doctor for a physical in 2004, in conjunction with raising awareness of men's health issues and make Spike TV a destination for men seeking information and resources about their personal health.

Spike TV has forged several strategic partnerships to create, launch and maintain the "Check Up or Check Out" pro-social campaign. These partnerships are with the Washington, DC-based Men's Health Network (MHN), the country's leading informational and educational organization that recognizes men's health as a specific social concern, to utilize the organizations extensive library of information, research and resources of men's health and National Medical Association (NMA), which promotes the collective interests of African American physicians and patients and a leading force for parity in medicine, the elimination of health disparities and promotion of optimum health.

"Spike TV's 'Check Up or Check Out' campaign is a great opportunity for men to focus on their personal health," says Dr. David Gremillion, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a board member at the Men's Health Network. "Too often men avoid seeing a physician on a routine basis and wait for serious signs of illness before seeking health care. Sadly, this is often too late."

Spike TV's "Check Up or Check Out" campaign features multiple levels of consumer outreach, including:

  • Public Service Announcements: These public service announcements will provide healthy lifestyle information; an extensive informational web site to obtain free men's health and fitness material and details on a national health check sweepstakes. The PSAs will start running in April 2004 and will be telecast on Spike TV and MTV Networks including MTV, VH1, TV Land and CMT, among others.

  • National Tour/Local Affiliate Events: Starting this spring, Spike TV will present a nationwide traveling health tour that will provide free health screenings for men and important health/medical information. This grassroots tour will be held in conjunction with local cable operators at major events throughout the spring and summer months. Charter Communications of St. Louis is the first cable affiliate to partner with Spike TV on a local level with this campaign. Plans are currently underway for a Charter/Spike TV "Check Up or Check Out" event this summer.

  • 10 Point Inspection Card: A 10-point inspection "cheat sheet" of issues/areas that men should be aware of in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Free brochures and additional specific disease/health information will also be developed to share guidance on healthy living, including exercise tips, dietary suggestions and lifestyle choices. Spike TV in conjunction with Men's Health Network will create and produce the content.

  • Dedicated Website: SpikeTV.com has established a dedicated website to provide access to information included in the campaign; a personal health profile "tool kit;" doctor referral services; details regarding local community "Check Up or Check Out" events; telecast dates of related specials/programming; printable health/lifestyle tools and information and national "Check Up or Check Out" sweepstakes information.

The National Medical Association is the nation's largest and oldest organization addressing health issues affecting African Americans and underserved populations. The Association represents the interests of more than 25,000 African American physicians, with more than 25 medical specialties.

Men's Health Network (MHN) is a non-profit educational organization made up of physicians, researchers, public health workers, individuals and other health professionals. MHN was founded in 1992 by a group of men's activists and writers interested in improving the health and well being of men, boys and families.

Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 87 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, and Spike TV, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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