Driven by the notion that “Men take better care of their cars than their bodies,” Man Cave Health is a Melville-based nonprofit whose mission is to educate men about prostate health and encourage men to play a more active role in their healthcare journey.
The first Man Cave, funded entirely by donations raised by Man Cave Health and its parent organization, The Milana Family Foundation, opened its doors to patients earlier this year in The Department of Urology at Mount Sinai Health System. The sports-themed facility has a distinctly different feel from the clinical backdrop of a traditional hospital setting, and is meant to put men at ease while discussing sensitive topics with their healthcare providers.
The wood-paneled walls, sports memorabilia, leather seating and flat-screen TV are all meant to evoke a sense of familiarity for patients and guests. The brainchild of prostate cancer survivor Thomas Milana, Jr., Man Cave Health is determined to break the silence surrounding the many health issues unique to men.
Man Cave Health is engaging in several different fun and exclusive fundraising activities to assist with its mission. One such endeavor is an online fundraising tournament known as Man Cave Madness. While this tournament has nothing to do with basketball, it has followed the same schedule as the NCAA March Madness tournament, and has just entered the Final Four round of play.
Teams have been competing against each other to raise funds throughout the seven different stand-alone rounds of fundraising competition.There were 72 teams registered at the beginning of the tournament, who have collectively raised a combined total of just over $15,000. The Final Four Teams are The Louisiana Pelicans and the Mississippi Magnolias, both led by Team Captain Lance Laifer on the left side of the bracket. On the right side of the bracket, the Five Gs led by Team Captain and Man Cave Health Founder and Chairman Thomas Milana Jr. are competing against Florida’s TRAKAmerica, led by Team Captain Tracey Montoya.
The Final Four round extends through 10 p.m. April 6. The two victors from this round will face off against each other from 12:01 a.m. April 7 through 10 p.m. April 8.
The team that raises the most money during that time will win the tournament, receiving the prestigious Man Cave Cup and the $5,000 Grand Prize. While each competitive round re-sets each team’s bank figuratively back to $0, it is notable that while the Pelicans have raised $29 and the Magnolias $61 total, TRAKAmerica has raised more than $1,400 total, and The Five Gs have raised nearly$3,000 so far.
“I’m proud of the wonderful work we’re accomplishing at Man Cave Health, and I believe strongly in our mission,” said Milana, “which is why it’s important to me to lead the Five Gs through to the end of this tournament. I’m looking forward to more friendly and fierce competition, and to making this a huge success for Man Cave Health.”
Laifer explained his reasoning behind spearheading two teams that are competing against each other by pointing to the tremendous healthcare disparities in Louisiana and Mississippi.
“It has been an honor to work on Man Cave Health with Tom Milana since we sketched out the concept a little more than a year ago on a napkin,” he said. “To watch what he and his family have accomplished here in a short period of time is a testament to the passion and drive he has to improve men’s health in the United States and throughout the world. To that end I am looking forward to leading one of the teams I entered into the Madness competition to the Finals where we will be playing to donate the $5,000 to local health related charities.
“Louisiana and Mississippi are two states where the health care crisis in the United States is playing out with appalling results for men,” Laifer continued. “The average life expectancy for a man living in Louisiana is 72.75 years of age. The average life expectancy for a man living in Mississippi is 71.86 years of age. There are 76 countries in the world with a male life expectancy of 72 years or more. These countries include Honduras (72.9 years of age), the United States (76 years of age), Cuba (76.9 years of age) and Switzerland (81.2 years of age). I hope that the seeds we plant in the ground during this first Man Cave Health tournament will sprout and develop into more efforts to help men in Louisiana and Mississippi and throughout the United States and the rest of the world live longer healthier lives.”
“For too long, men have taken a backseat to their healthcare journey,” writes Ashutosh Tewari, a professor in the Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “I believe Man Cave Health will be an integral part of changing that.”
“The time has come to make men’s health a priority, and Man Cave Health is proud to lead the charge,” he said. “The funds we are raising now will propel us to the next level in terms of our scope and reach, enabling us to help even more men.”
The success of the first Man Cave’s grand opening has taken off, and word is quickly spreading across the country about this one-of-a-kind patient care model.
“Our goal is to bring the Man Cave approach to men’s health to seven to 10 more cities in the next five years,” said Milana. “And to that end we are already in discussions with several other health systems.”
Man Cave Health is located at 600 Broadhollow Rd. , Suite 200 in Melville. Call 800-535-9096 or visit ManCaveHealth.org for more information.
Jackie Lomtevas is the Executive Director of Man Cave Health