WASHINGTON - Black Florida Congressman Alcee L. Hastings introduced a resolution recognizing the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, a unique initiative that seeks to improve health outcomes in black communities across the country through education, community involvement, research, and culturally relevant strategies. SEE COPY OF RESOLUTION HERE
In 2007, the Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation launched the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in an effort to increase public awareness about cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension among black men by partnering with black-owned barbershops, as well as local leaders, facilities, and organizations, to provide culturally specific education and health services to black men.
“The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program empowers individuals to take control of their health and to become informed health advocates in their communities,” said Hastings.
Due to various factors, including inadequate access to quality health care services, African American men suffer from disproportionately high rates of hypertension, diabetes, and other health conditions that are largely preventable and manageable.
“The black barbershop is an institution in the African American community, providing a trusted and familiar place for many black men to receive health information and services that they would otherwise not have access to,” further noted Hastings.
To date, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has screened over 10,000 men in 230 black-owned barbershops for diabetes, hypertension, and prostate cancer across the country. The project’s organizers plan to screen 20,000 men in 2010 and 500,000 men by 2012. Furthermore, the Black Barbershop Health Program will also target black-owned beauty shops to reach black women.
“I commend the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program for its important work in improving community health and remain committed to supporting health legislation and other initiatives in the fight against racial health disparities.”
For more information on the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, please visit its official Web site at (http://www.blackbarbershop.org/).
Joining Hastings as original co-sponsors of the resolution are Representatives (16): Corrine Brown (D-FL), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Al Green (D-TX).
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.