Bring a health professional to the people day: A community outreach strategy for mobilizing African American barber shops and beauty salons as health promotion sites

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2004

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Citation

Browne, Mario and Garner, Victoria and Howard, Raymond and Reddick, Karen and Williams, Candice and Berget, Rachael and Sansing, Veronica and Gist, Maya and Taliaferro, Devon and Ford, Angela and Duncan, Edgar and Thomas, Stephen (2004) Bring a health professional to the people day: A community outreach strategy for mobilizing African American barber shops and beauty salons as health promotion sites. In: Public Health and the Environment: Annual Meeting of APHA , November 6-10, 2004, Washington, DC.

Abstract

Despite an abundance of health care resources in the region, Pittsburgh’s African American community continues to suffer disproportionately from a burden of preventable diseases. Although there is no shortage of information about how to prevent these diseases, the African American community is clearly not benefiting from it. One of the reasons for this discrepancy is that health messages are not being delivered in the most effective and culturally appropriate manner. In September of 2002 the Department of Health and Human Services kicked off their “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day”, a national effort to promote health and wellness in the African American community. At the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, the Center for Minority Health (CMH) adopted this model and tailored it to meet local needs by partnering with barbershops, beauty salons, and health professionals to create “Bring a Health Professional to the People Day”. Our strategy was designed with the idea that trusted community members such as barbers and beauticians can be good vehicles for disseminating accurate, evidence-based health promotion messages, especially relating to preventable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes. The CMH partnered with barber shops and beauty salons. The focus was providing health screening and health information to patrons of these shops. Health professionals were recruited via website registration. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate an innovative approach of the use of trusted community members to promote health and wellness in the African American community.

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