Nationally renowned cancer center director to speak on importance of health for Black men
As a pulmonologist with a focus on lung cancer, Robert Winn has reached the pinnacle of his profession, becoming the director of one of only 71 cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead its research and training. At the VCU Massey Cancer Center, he is focused on eliminating health disparities and building a model for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the oncology workforce.
Winn, however, believes that the health and well-being of a community begins at home. As we approach Father’s Day, Winn encourages men to think about their own health and how it impacts their families and beyond.
“One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer, and the fact of the matter is that it could be prevented in many of them. Proper screening is the first step toward reversing these numbers and increasing overall health,” said Winn. “Men matter! Having a dialogue about cancer prevention is not a suggestion; it is critical to the well-being of every man and to the foundation of every community.”
Winn, the first Black director at an NCI-designated cancer center, is visiting the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine for a talk called “Generational Health: An Intimate Conversation on Black Men and Health Disparities.” Hosted by the Black Father Family Initiative, a partnership with the United Way of Roanoke Valley, the event will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 14.
William Lee, the founding chairman of New Horizons Healthcare and the former pastor of Roanoke’s Loudon Avenue Christian Church, will join Winn for the discussion. It is open to the public and free of charge with a suggested donation to Black Father Family, but registration is required. To learn more about the event and to register, please click here.
Ryan Bell, the founder of Black Father Family, was thrilled that Winn eagerly agreed to visit Roanoke for the talk and to meet with individuals and organizations in the community.
“Dr. Winn is a national leader in the field of cancer research, and we are very thankful that he is taking the time to visit our community and share how important it is for Black fathers to maintain their health,” said Bell. “Through Black Father Family, we are striving to empower fathers with the tools to leave a legacy of financial, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. Health is a critical aspect that cannot be overlooked.”
Lee Learman, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, was an early supporter of Black Father Family, joining the steering committee to assist in launching the program.
“The mission of Black Father Family resonates with me personally as a father and with our medical school’s mission to improve the health of our communities. Engaged parenting and prevention of adverse childhood experiences have benefits that last a lifetime,” Learman said. “Through Black Father Family, fathers are connected with the resources they need to help their families achieve these benefits.”
In addition to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, sponsors of the talk include Black Father Family, United Way of Roanoke Valley, New Horizons Healthcare, and Alpha Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. To learn more about this event, click here.