Purdue School of Nursing faculty member puts a focus on men’s health initiatives

A male nurse uses an otoscope to look in an older man's ear.

A School of Nursing graduate student performs a health screening on a patient.(Photo by Christine Petkov)

In a significant step toward promoting men’s health across Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb signed a proclamation requested by Julian L. Gallegos, clinical associate professor in the Purdue University School of Nursing and principal advisor for the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing, to declare June 2024 as Men’s Health Month in Indiana. The initiative underscores the critical need to address men’s health issues throughout their life span, recognizing the unique challenges men face in maintaining their health and well-being.

Men’s health is a crucial aspect of public health that often goes underemphasized. From adolescence through adulthood and into older age, men encounter a variety of health issues that can significantly impact their quality of life. Gallegos noted addressing these issues early and consistently is vital for preventing chronic conditions, improving mental health and enhancing overall well-being.

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer are prevalent among men, often exacerbated by lifestyle factors and a reluctance to seek medical help. Mental health is another critical area, with men being more likely to suffer in silence due to societal stigmas. By focusing on men’s health across the life span, Gallegos aims to break these barriers, encourage proactive health management and reduce the incidence of preventable diseases.

Advocating for men’s health

Gallegos has been at the forefront of men’s health advocacy through his work at Purdue-sponsored federally qualified health centers. These clinics provide essential health care services to underserved communities, focusing on comprehensive care that addresses both physical and mental health needs. Gallegos’ efforts at these clinics have been instrumental in developing targeted health programs that cater to the specific needs of men, particularly in rural and Latino populations.

His expertise in managing conditions such as hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction and chronic disease has significantly improved the quality of care provided to male patients. By integrating advanced practice nursing into these settings, Gallegos ensures men receive holistic and personalized care, encouraging them to take charge of their health.

In addition to his clinical work, Gallegos serves on the national board of directors for the American Association for Men in Nursing, an organization dedicated to addressing men’s health issues. He is also on the advisory board for the Men’s Health Network and Healthy Men Inc., where he focuses on policy and clinical advocacy. These roles have enabled him to influence national policies and advocate for better health outcomes for men on a broader scale.

Launching the Nursing Scholars Program

Gallegos is set to launch the Nursing Scholars Program at Purdue in the fall. The program, designed for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students, aims to cultivate a new generation of health care professionals dedicated to advancing men’s health and equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities. It will offer students the opportunity to address men’s health issues, conduct research, and implement community-based interventions.

By raising awareness of and fostering education and research in men’s health, Gallegos aims to transform the landscape, ensuring men receive the care and support they need throughout their lives.

Source: Purdue School of Nursing, Julian L. Gallegos

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