Fitness Guru Billy Blanks Jr. to Deliver Keynote Address at Whittier Street Health Center’s 2014 Men’s Health Summit

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 11:00am

Blanks and wife Sharon Catherine to provide a one-hour complimentary fitness workshop and local health champions are honored

(Boston, MA, June 3, 2014) – Fitness expert and choreographer Billy Blanks Jr. will be the keynote speaker for Whittier Street Health Center’s annual, free Men’s Health Summit. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the great things our boys and men bring to our lives” and the event will take place on Saturday, June 28, 2014, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 1290 Tremont St., Roxbury, MA.

Blanks Jr. has been described as the face for the new generation of fitness. He went from homeless to a global fitness celebrity and will share his journey of challenge to reward and how men can be motivated to care about their health for themselves and their families.

The Summit will also honor seven Men’s Health Champions with the Whittier Health Champion Award:

•The Honorable Mayor Marty Walsh, City of Boston Mayor
•Bill Brett, Bill Brett Photography and Boston Globe Photographer
•Dr. Marc Garnick, Chief Medical Advisor, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
•Dr. Luc Joseph, General Pediatrics Specialist, Boston Children’s Hospital
•Dr. Paul Mendis, Chief Medical Officer, Neighborhood Health Plan
•Joseph Nolan, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, Northeast Utilities
•Richard Taylor, Executive in Residence Business Law, Suffolk University

The Men’s Health Champions will be part of a panel discussion addressing timely men’s health issues, following the keynote by Billy Blanks, Jr. at noon. Other panelists include Joseph Trautwein, co-founder of Fresh Truck and Joseph Bostic, Jr., President and Founder of Retention Frontiers, Inc.

The health summit is free and open to the public. In addition to the formal program with Blanks’ keynote, the health panel, and the awards ceremony for Men’s Health Champions, it will also feature a health fair, free health screenings (including rapid HIV testing, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and prostate cancer), Xbox tournament for youth, and complimentary lunch.

The Summit will conclude with Blanks and his wife, Sharon Catherine, conducting a one-hour, moderate level fitness workshop.
“An integral part of our annual Men’s Health Summit is to provide men and boys with a general understanding of the importance of regular annual checkups and getting tested for diseases for which they may be at risk,” said Frederica Williams, President and CEO, Whittier Street Health Center. “The key to reducing and treating these diseases effectively and economically is to detect them in the early stages through routine screenings, which will be offered free during the Summit. Our hope is that together, the Blanks, our honorees, and panelists will help us continue to raise the awareness of how important it is for men to seek preventative health care.”

According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, men are much less likely than women to look after their health and see physicians. They’re 25 percent less likely to have visited a health care provider in the past year (although they go when urged by women), and almost 40 percent more likely to have skipped recommended cholesterol screenings. As stereotype would have it, nagging from women is the main reason men ever get their health checked out.

Also according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control, men’s life expectancy has risen from 70 years to 76 years, while women’s has increased from 77 years to 81 years from 1980 onwards. The average life expectancy of black men is 71 years. Black men also have higher death rates from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The key to eliminating these health disparities is early testing so treatment can begin promptly.

With more than 300 people expected to attend the summit, the goal is to raise awareness among men, that physical, mental and spiritual health are interconnected and that by taking charge of their own health, they can build a stronger family and community.
Blanks Jr. is a fitness expert known for designing programs that make fitness fun and inclusive for families and people of all fitness levels. Blanks, along with his wife Sharon Catherine, have gone from homeless to entrepreneurs through hard work, determination, and a dream. He and Sharon appeared on Shark Tank and landed a deal with Daymond John and Mark Cuban for their program Dance with Me, the only actual fitness-based dance certification course. They are also in the process of launching their own original family lifestyle and fitness show, “America’s Fit Party” and have appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in April 2013.
For more information about the Men’s Health Summit, please call 617-989-3071 or email, or visit or @whittier_boston.

Adra Darling


1290 Tremont St.
Roxbury, MA


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