The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program to Offer Free Cardiovascular Screenings in Bay Area Barbershops
Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program. PHOTO/File
(PRWEB) – San Francisco and Oakland Barbershops have joined forces with the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program (BBHOP) to conduct diabetes and high blood pressure screenings on Saturday, May 12th, 2012, from 11am to 4pm.
Participating barbershops will provide the platform for volunteers to educate, screen and refer African American patrons; encouraging them to become more aware of cardiovascular diseases and how to prevent them.
Shelly Tatum, founder of “Shelly Tatum Presents”, has been at the helm of the Bay area efforts–showing remarkable dedication as city coordinator for the program. He has worked tirelessly to mobilize dozens of volunteers and secure a multitude of corporate and online media partners to further promote the programs call to action.
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has a unique, grassroots approach to health screening and education. Led by Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation, his leadership has taken the Black Barbershop initiative across the country to impact the lives of African American men, helping them to better understand the health issues that plague their community.
“The need to address health care disparities in African American men is paramount in light of the fact that they have the lowest life expectancy of any group in the U.S.,” said Dr. Releford a podiatric surgeon. “For decades, the black barbershop has served as a centralized gathering place where African American men feel comfortable discussing the most important issues that impact their lives: politics, social trends, family and finances. Now, we are introducing an important discussion of health and the critical need for health awareness.”
Recent figures show African American men are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than White men, according to the Office of Minority Health – an arm of Health and Human Services, a federal agency. Also, African American men suffer from prostrate cancer at a level that’s more than twice the mortality rate for any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Through black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust, the outreach program has adopted a novel means to spread health information. Over 30,000 African American men have been screened in 23 cities, including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Washington, DC, Baltimore and California since 2007 when the outreach program was launched. The ultimate goal by 2014 is to screen more than a half-million African American men.
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