The Men’s Health Initiative is a venture of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change at the New York University School of Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It is a collaborative strategy to battle the two leading causes of death among Black men over 50: colorectal cancer and hypertension (high blood pressure).  The Men’s Health Initiative consists of two community-based research studies: Mister B and FAITH-CRC.

Both MISTER-B and FAITH-CRC are projects working to assess community-based approaches to treating hypertension and colorectal cancer, two of the leading causes of death among Black men.

Eligible men must be 50 years or older and self-identify as “of African descent”. They must also have elevated high blood pressure at the time of their screening and not have had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years, or any other type of colorectal cancer screening within the last year. Men who meet these criteria and are interested in participating first complete an interview, which includes questions about their health and lifestyle.

Participants are enrolled in the study for 6 months. Throughout the study period they will receive telephone-based counseling sessions aimed at lowering their blood pressure, administered by our trained Motivational Interviewers, or guidance through the colon cancer screening process with the help of our trained Patient Navigators. Some individuals may receive both of these interventions. After 6 months, we meet with the participants again to take their blood pressure again and  complete a follow-up interview.

We hope that through uniting with barbershops and faith-based organizations, we can develop new ways to combat the undue burden of high blood pressure and colorectal cancer among Black men. Our aim is to inspire people to lead healthier lives. You can help us.

About Dr. Joseph Ravenell, The Principal Investigator for the Mister-B and Faith-CRC Projects:
Dr. Ravenell is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. He is a board-certified internist and American Society of Hypertension-certified clinical hypertension specialist with a strong track record in community-based programs and interventions to reduce racial disparities. Dr. Ravenell's research focus is clinical and community-based approaches to improving hypertension control and reducing colorectal cancer health disparities among African American men.

Since coming to NYU, Dr. Ravenell has been actively cultivating a three-pronged approach to improving hypertension-related outcomes in African American men. In addition to developing research collaborations in New York City to study community-based approaches to improving hypertension-related outcomes in African American men, Dr. Ravenell also helped to launch the Bellevue Hospital Primary Care Hypertension Specialty Clinic in January 2009, and leads a new Hypertension and Lipidology fellowship at NYU.

Currently, Dr. Ravenell is project leader on a R01-type award as part of a NIH P60 Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research (P60MD003421). He holds a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award (66731) and the American Heart Association Pharmaceutical Roundtable Career Development Award for Implementation Research (0675069N), both of which focus on evaluating interventions to improve management of hypertension in African American men at the physician level.

He is Principal Investigator of a newly funded church-based NHLBI R01 designed to simultaneously evaluate the effectiveness of two evidence-based interventions targeted at BP reduction and colorectal cancer screening in black men (R01HL096946). He is also a co-investigator on an award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a Comparative Effectiveness Research Program focused on hypertension and colorectal cancer health disparities in African-American men in New York City (U48DP002671). Finally, he is a co-investigator on several NHLBI-funded trials designed to improve medication adherence and BP control in hypertensive African Americans.