DEERFIELD, IL - The National Urban League and Walgreens Wellness Tour, as part of the Walgreens Way To Well Fund(TM), will once again travel the country, embarking on a ten-month tour to provide six free health tests with the goal of promoting better health in urban communities. The national mobile health testing tour will also continue to highlight the League's "I Am Empowered" national service initiative, and will collaborate with Urban League affiliates to offer free health education and health testing events in urban communities convenient to where consumers live, work and play.
The free tests - which include total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index - are valued at $100 and may help provide adults with a critical foundation for early disease detection and prevention. Visitors will also have access to educational materials available in both English and Spanish, concerning each of the screenings, as well as HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Throughout the next six months, the National Urban League and Walgreens Wellness Tour will visit more than 15 cities with its custom-equipped bus and dedicated staff to provide free services at local events, community centers, Walgreens stores and other select locations.
Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, and National Urban League, the oldest and largest community-based nonpartisan organization devoted to empowering underserved communities, partnered together for the wellness tour to maximize the impact of their shared, long-term commitment to overcoming the barriers associated with receiving quality health services in urban areas. Over the past four years, the National Urban League and Walgreens Wellness Tour administered more than 350,000 screenings.
Residents in urban communities, particularly minorities, experience disproportionately higher rates of preventable disease. In a 2009 study, The New England Journal of Medicine found that blacks are impacted by higher rates of heart failure, and specifically:
* African-Americans suffer heart failure at a rate of 20 times higher than whites.
* One in 100 African-American men and women will develop heart failure before age 50.
* Heart failure rates for African-Americans in their 30s and 40s are the same as whites in their 50s and 60s.
According to the National Diabetes Education Program:
* 10.4 percent of Hispanics/Latinos ages 20 years or older have diagnosed diabetes
* Among Hispanics/Latinos, diabetes prevalence rates are 8.2 percent for Cubans, 11.9 percent for Mexican Americans and 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.
The tests are available to adults, ages 18 and older. After the tests are performed, a pharmacist or staff member will instantly provide the results and review them with the consumer. Consumers are encouraged to report their results to their doctor or health care provider so they may discuss any concerns with them.
"The National Urban League is thrilled to continue its partnership with Walgreens by extending the 2010-2011 Wellness Tour program, which has reached more than 65,000 people in the past four years," said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. "The NUL/Walgreens Wellness Tour's health tests are vital to disease detection and prevention, especially as many diverse communities in the United States are struggling without affordable health care. Our partnership with Walgreens works to ensure urban and minority communities are well-educated about healthier lifestyles and can access basic health testing resources due to this community-based partnership."
"Walgreens continues to value our partnership with the National Urban League, and we are happy to announce the extension of the 2010-2011 National Urban League and Walgreens Wellness Tour. The basic health tests offered by the Wellness Tour help support our common goal to provide healthy outcomes for people in communities who benefit most from these services," said John Gremer, Walgreens Director of Community Affairs. "Our commitment is to empower everyone to live well, stay well and get well, and to provide them with the necessary resources to do so."
The Tour will be visiting the following cities with more to come:
Oklahoma City, OK
New Orleans, LA
New York, New York