Free screenings offered at today's African-American Male Wellness Walk downtown


As a city councilman, Julius T. Oliver is accustomed to dealing with large numbers related to budgets, appropriations and taxes, but a series of smaller figures he had checked hit a lot closer to home.

“It’s better to find out early than find out too late,” said Oliver, D-1st, referring to the importance of having one’s blood pressure, cholesterol and body-mass index screened.

Those were the three health areas Oliver had checked during the fourth annual African-American Male Wellness Walk/5K Run of the Mahoning Valley Saturday morning at the Covelli Centre downtown.

Several hundred men, women and children walked, ran and bicycled during the free event, said to be Ohio’s largest health initiative for black males.

The walk and run, themed “Healthy Men Make Healthy Families,” was aimed at improving health and wellness, especially in urban communities, via educational offerings, so as to empower men and their families, organizers said.

Before gathering for the walk and run, which took participants through parts of downtown and the North Side, many took advantage of free health checks. Licensed medical professionals provided screenings for blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose, cholesterol, hearing, dentistry and weight and height; also offered were flu vaccinations and lead testing.

Oliver, who’s a YMCA member and whose daily workout regimen includes muscle training, said the results he received at the event indicate he has no health concerns. It’s imperative that people get screened largely because catching small health problems often prevents bigger ones from developing – much like preventive maintenance for a vehicle, he said.

Read more about the event in Sunday's Vindicator or on

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