For the 17th year in a row, men in Muskegon Heights community were taking control of their health and participating in free medical screenings at a health fair Saturday, Jan. 20.

The African American Men's Health Fair, an annual event that offers free screenings for chronic illnesses, is put on by the Health Project's Community Outreach team. The health fair focuses on men 30 ages and older, however, everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.

According to organizers, African American men have the highest rates of prostate cancers of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. These rates are due to lack of participation is regular screens, knowledge of the disease, certain health beliefs, financial barriers and relationships with primary healthcare providers.

A number of different screenings were available at the free event, including, diabetes, prostate cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, and healthy breathing test to name a few.

WZZM spoke with a man who has attended the annual fair for the last several years. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to have all of these screenings done for free each year.

The fair was held at Muskegon Heights High School. And for the first 100 men who finished all screening areas were given a free ticket to a Muskegon Heights basketball game happening the same day.

Organizers work hard to make it a laid-back community atmosphere and less intimidating than a doctor's office.

For more information about the Health Project, and about next years African American Men's Health Fair, visit

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.