A Facial Focus on Health: My Movember Experience and Commitment to Making a Difference in Men’s Health

Nearly 20 years ago, two gentlemen and a small group of their friends in Australia decided to bring awareness to high rates of prostate cancer in men by growing their mustaches through the month of November.

In the years that followed, those mustaches morphed into Movember, an annual mustache movement that has become a global phenomenon that has supported more than 1,250 men’s health projects across 23 countries.

My Movember Journey

Ten years after those men took up arms against prostate cancer by sprouting their handlebars, I witnessed the Movember mustache trend going global. I recognized how close the mission of Movember aligned with my personal and professional goals to improve health for everyone. Naturally, I started growing my own mustache and took up the cause.

I began my Movember efforts with my team of passionate colleagues at the Advisory Board Company. Across the four consecutive Movembers, we grew mustaches and raised awareness together, with more than 200 men and women participating and collectively raising more than $35,000 for Movember to fund research for key men’s health issues, like testicular and prostate cancer.

In recent years, I’ve joined forces with some amazing individuals across the country to focus our fundraising and awareness efforts around men’s mental health. The Mo Mental Health team has now raised over $90,000 and is leading the way in promoting safe and healthy conversations about mental health issues and suicide prevention for men.

As important as our fundraising has been, the proactive and preventative health actions I’ve personally taken and encouraged in friends, family, and colleagues have been equally rewarding and incredibly fun. From holding all of my annual medical and dental check-ups every Movember, to pledging my donation to other non-profits every annual Giving Tuesday, to sporting father-son staches during Thanksgiving every year with my dad, it all brings me back to the goals and mission of Movember.

2021 Brings New Meaning to Movember

This will be my eighth Movember. This year also brings new meaning to health for the global community as we continue to grapple with the long-lasting and devastating effects of COVID-19. The challenges we’ve faced, the lives we’ve lost, and the daily reminders we have of this global pandemic bring a renewed global focus on community health.

2021 also brings new meaning to Movember for me personally, as my wife and I welcomed our first child, a baby boy, into the world earlier this year. My actions now not only impact the quality of years together that we have ahead of us but also model key behaviors for him to adopt as he gets older.

In the short term, I’m certainly eager to see how he’ll respond to my furry upper lip sweater, and my mustache is bristling with excitement (Dad joke!) about all of the fun my son and I will have as we prioritize a healthy life together.

Enabling Human Health: The AKASA Way

Lastly, it’s impossible for me not to acknowledge that AKASA builds on Movember’s goals and takes them further by leveraging cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence, combined with human experts, to enable human health. We’re ultimately driven to work toward a future where every healthcare dollar is spent responsibly.

Movember also aligns well with a few of our values here at AKASA too:

  • Lead with empathy: You never know what someone else is going through, so empathy is key in being the best person you can be. Movember’s new focus on men’s mental health embodies this, as they strive to help curb the stigma around men’s mental health and therapy.
  • Build trust: The Movember organization has spent nearly two decades building trust, increasing the efforts they support, and empowering men and women everywhere to run their own Movember campaigns.
  • Be brave: For many, it takes a lot of bravery to grow facial hair for a month. And as an organization, Movember is brave in its goals. They’re hoping to cut down the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.

Read more about the AKASA values and see our current job openings.

For Movember, I’ve taken great pride and joy in growing a mustache and helping fund research that makes life better for men around the world. With AKASA, I take great pride in building the future of healthcare with AI to improve healthcare for everyone.

If you’re moved to donate to my Movember campaign this year or would like to grow your own stache (or wear a fake one), please don’t hesitate to reach out to me to learn how to join the effort.

If you’d like to learn more about AKASA, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

Ben Beadle-Ryby
Co-founder and Vice President of Sales and Customer Success
Ben Beadle-Ryby is the co-founder and vice president of sales and customer success at AKASA. During his time as a partner at the Advisory Board, he oversaw revenue cycle consulting and technology. With a degree in mathematical economics from Colorado College, Beadle-Ryby has been partnering with healthcare organizations for more than a decade to identify inefficiencies and build roadmaps for sustainable, long-term operational improvements.