A new research partnership is set to break ground in the most pressing health issues facing males.
The Freemasons Centre for Male and Health and Wellbeing (FCMHW) is a research alliance involving the Masonic Charities, The University of Adelaide, and SAHMRI in South Australia.
The Director of the FCMHW’s SA Division, Professor Gary Wittert, says the FCMHW brings together globally recognised leaders in male health research.
“More males die at every stage through the course of life,” Professor Wittert said.
“Males have more accidents, take their own lives at a far greater rate and suffer from more lifestyle-related health conditions. We also see more men than women leave the workforce early due to chronic disease.”
Top priorities for the Centre’s SA Division include prostate cancer and pre-conception health as well as a focus on the common chronic conditions affecting men such as obesity, diabetes, depression, sexual health and troublesome lower urinary tract symptoms.
As well generating new knowledge as to the causes of and optimal way to treat men for these conditions, a central aim of the alliance is to ensure research translates into real world changes in clinical and public health practices.
“Our work to date has shown clearly that men do use health services and they do care about their health,” Professor Wittert said.
“Great improvements can be made, relatively simply, through changes that ensure our health care system is catering for and communicating to men more effectively. This will be a particular focus for the Centre over the coming years.”
The FCMHW SA Division was officially launched on Monday, 8 February, following the successful launch of the Northern Territory Division in November 2020.
The Centre is the evolution of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health which was established in 2007 and maintained through a $7.2 million dollar partnership between the Freemasons Foundation and the University of Adelaide.
Masonic Charities, the charitable arm of Freemasons SA/NT is donating a minimum of $1.8 million over three years to the new Centre, funds that will be matched collectively by the research alliance partners.
The Grand Master of the Freemasons SA/NT, Dr Neil Jensen, said the new centre will build on the foundation laid by its predecessor with an increased capacity to improve male health outcomes due to a stronger, broader network.
“We started at a time when men’s health was not really spoken about and it’s now in a far better place,” Dr Jensen said.
“We’re very proud of what’s been achieved so far, but there’s still much work to be done and the Centre will play a pivotal role in the future.”
“We are often asked, as Freemasons, ‘What do we do?’. Benevolence and serving the communities in which we live are at the core of Freemasonry.
“The Centre is a perfect example of the contribution made by Freemasons of SA/NT particularly given the positive impact that its work will have for males, their families and communities.”
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