Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Rebirth in Wellness: The Black Men’s Health & Wellness Summit (1st Annual)

Dr. Suzanne Afflalo, CEO of “A Healthier Me” and Nasara Gargonnu, CEO of Sirius Fitness worked collaboratively to create “The Rebirth in Wellness: The Black Men’s Health & Wellness Summit.”

Bishop Terrell Fletcher 

                                                                       Yuhanna El 

 The FREE event was hosted by the City of Hope International Church on Sunday (COHI), June 10th, 2018 and was open to the community.  The summit featured guest speakers who presented life enhancing information, a buffet lunch, health screening, fitness and giveaways.  Approximately 60 men attended the event and thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, brotherhood and educational forum. The summit was moderated by Dwayne Townsend, a 3rd year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. Pastor Bryant Moore, an associate pastor at COHI, opened the event in prayer, then Bishop Terrell Fletcher, senior pastor of COHI, shared his testimony and provided a presentation on the importance of spiritual health in relationship to the overall health of males.  Coach Nasara Gargonnu led the men in a light fitness demonstration and showed them that fitness can be beneficial for the mind and body. The men were moving and grooving and didn't want to stop. The next presenter was Dr. Jamal Gwathnery, a Family Physician and Captain in the United States Public Health Service. He spoke about chronic health conditions: hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and the need to manage those chronic medical conditions to prevent strokes and heart attacks.  Mr. Kahalifa King, an Adjunct Professor at SD City College, teaches personal Growth and Career Development, and a Marriage and Family Counselor. Mr. King addressed the stigma, pain and seriousness of Mental Health that plagues our community. He shared tips on how to identify the warning signs of mental health in yourself and family members. The topic of male reproductive health was shared by Brother Yuhanna El, an advocate of personal development and holistic leadership training. Mr. Chas Rodgers, a representative of ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, spoke about his personal journey through prostate cancer.  William Mc Cray, of COHI, spoke about the need for accountability regarding men’s health and the need for men to support each other through life. The final topic addressed was financial literacy by Mr. Robert Jenkins and his business partner.  The event ended with a Yoga demonstration lead by fitness coach and Yoga instructor, Jerome Gross. The men were provided a healthy meal catered by Chef Rob (Robert Jenkins), who served BBQ chicken, Mediterranean couscous, grilled veggies, kale salad and a wide variety of seasonal fruit. The men thoroughly enjoyed the meal.  Several men provided unsolicited feedback about the event. They enjoyed the summit so much that they stayed an hour after the scheduled closing of the program and even requested to schedule another male-only event within the next few months. It is apparent that there is a true need and hunger for more male-only gatherings, where men have a safe place to discuss the issues that affect them. The fellowship among the men was priceless.  A special thanks to Chris Jefferson, the Creative Director of AN1 Services, who captured the event with his excellent photography and videography skills and to DJ Danny, of COHI, who provided wonderful music throughout the event. Thanks to all the vendors who were present at the summit and a final huge thank you to Dr. Suzanne Afflalo, retired Family Physician and the director of the Health & Wellness Ministry at COHI, who had the vision to provide a men’s health event for the men during June, “Men’s Health Month”. For more information on booking events like this at your church or venue contact Dr. Suzanne Afflalo at infoahealthierme@gmail.com or Nasara Gargonnu at SiriusFitness@gmail.com

Dr. Suzanne Afflalo and Nasara Gargonnu

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