I had the pleasure to interview Thomas Milana Jr., a creative entrepreneur with a 25+ year track record of building successful companies based on his keen insight into market opportunities and unrelenting drive for success. Most recently, personal experience has lead Tom on a mission to become a force for change in the field of men’s health. His latest endeavor, and the one he is most passionate about, is Man Cave Health, whose mission is to educate men about prostate cancer. Driven by the notion that men take better care of their cars than their bodies, Man Cave Health is a destination for men seeking information, screening and then treatment for prostate cancer, if that becomes necessary. The purpose behind the Man Cave is to reduce anxiety by providing men with a familiar and comfortable environment, as opposed to the more traditional, clinical hospital setting. The first Man Cave is currently serving patients at The Department of Urology at Mount Sinai Health System and is poised to become New York’s premier resource for men with prostate health concerns. Tom’s goal is to put a Man Cave in every major US city, so that all men have access to the support they need when faced with sensitive health concerns that can be overwhelming without appropriate support.
RM: Please share your backstory with us.
TM: I’ve been married for 23 years, and my wife and I have five daughters. At age 48 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had surgery 3 weeks later and I was cured.
RM: We know you’re a businessman. Tell us about your expertise.
TM: I have been called a serial entrepreneur. I have built and sold many different operating businesses over the years. I currently own one of the largest receivables management firms in the country, an insurance brokerage and an employee screening company.
RM: June is National Men’s Health Awareness Month. How can the medical profession turn the statistics around for men to want to go and get checked annually if not more?
TM: That is the million-dollar question. In my opinion, the medical industry needs to do two things: provide a better experience and take patients’ time into consideration. Most doctors have no regard for peoples’ time, and they need to provide late night hours and weekends. For most men, taking time away from work is hard to do.
RM: We love the Man Cave concept. Can you share the goal of Man Cave health.
TM: The goal of Man Cave health is twofold. Our first goal is to get more men to the doctor for annual check-ups. Once they get there, it’s all about providing a better experience. I feel that if the experience was better, more men would actually go get checked. You can see a person’s attitude change the minute they walk into the Man Cave. They can relax in a comfortable setting, have a cup of coffee, take a look around, and more importantly they are engaging in conversation with other patients. The traditional waiting room provides none of the above.
RM: The first Man Cave opened this year in Mount Sinai. Where do you see the next one opening and will there be others opening in other cities?
TM: Since we launched in January, more than ten health systems have reached out to me. The positive response we have gotten is overwhelming. I think you will see two more in the New York area and one in Laguna Beach by year’s end.
RM: Tell us about the doctors at Mount Sinai and what type of care can people expect when they are treated there.
TM: Although I am biased, I truly feel there is no better place in the tri-state area to get treated for prostate cancer. I did extensive research when I was diagnosed, and all roads lead me to Dr. Tewari.
RM: How can we get the future generation more involved with their health?
TM: I wish I knew the answer. I think the key to that is education. The more we start programming kids at an early age about the importance of annual physicals, the better off we will be. Everyone needs to know the importance of early detection regardless of gender. The biggest problem with prostate cancer is that once you have symptoms from it, it’s usually too late.
RM: Do you think that the Man Cave will be the new and innovation for men’s health?
TM: I truly believe we are onto something. I feel that down the road, if we can provide men with a one stop shop to get everything checked out in a really cool, relaxed environment where they feel comfortable, it will make a tremendous difference in getting more men to the doctor sooner rather than later.
RM: Will we see women in the Man Cave?
TM: Absolutely. Behind every sick man there is usually a woman concerned about him. Not only will the Man Cave provide a better environment for all, I feel that the Man Cave will give spouses some much-needed inspiration to get their men to actually go to the doctor.
RM: You have an upcoming golf event on Monday, June 10 at Fresh Meadow. What can the guests expect from the day?
TM: This year is my family’s 4thannual outing. Our day is filled with some great people, great golf, lots of raffles and more importantly a lot of laughs. This year, for the first time ever we are providing free PSA tests for all men in attendance. My goal is to get every man who hasn’t gone to the doctor in the last 12 months to get screened.
RM: What makes your golf event different than the others?
TM: My event is like a big party for the day. We have a bar set up on every par 3 on the course; Fresh Meadow does an amazing job, and the people make my event special. It also helps that the cause is something that everyone can get behind. There is no other outing to my knowledge that raises money for men’s health awareness. I think that is something all my guests, men and women, can get behind.
RM: How can people get involved with your event even if they can’t make it?
TM: If you cannot make the event you can visit www.MilanaFamilyFoundation.orgon our website you can participate in some of our great raffles or bid on a silent auction prize. You can also go to www.ManCaveHealth.organd subscribe to our newsletter that we are about to launch.
RM: What do you want to leave as your legacy?
TM: I really haven’t thought much about my legacy. I have an incredible wife and 5 amazing daughters, and I have enjoyed success in life and in business. My goal now is to get 5% of the male population that doesn’t currently go to the doctor, to start going to the doctor. If I can do that, I think that would be a great part of my legacy.
RM: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Good luck with everything we look forward to seeing you at the golf event.
TM: It was my pleasure and I look forward to seeing you there as well.
For more information on Man Cave Health: https://mancavehealth.organd to interact