Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Celebrities Join Effort with Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program

Celebrities Join Effort with Dr. Bill Releford's Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in Barbershops throughout LA County
Norm Nixon, the Whispers and Kim Coles among many to Join November 7 Los Angeles Event
Los Angeles - Some 100 barbershops throughout Los Angeles and the Inland Empire will be bustling with extra activity this Saturday, November 7, 2009, from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. when Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation, launches the Los Angeles Initiative of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program. In photo is Dr. Releford with actress and 'The View' co-host, Sherry Shepherd.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach program, sponsored by a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, will offer free diabetes and high blood pressure screenings to African American men who normally visit their local barbers just anticipating the usual haircut. In addition, participants will be provided education about healthy lifestyle alternatives along with PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) screenings and PEP Talk: the Prostate Education Project, that will address the issue of prostate cancer by distributing culturally appropriate educational materials.

In an effort to drive the need for health care and education home to a demographic in need of it the most, celebrity support has been enlisted. Sherri Shepherd, co-host of "The View," took time out of her very busy schedule to record a public service announcement on KJLH Radio, a station owned by Stevie Wonder, while celebrity participants The Whispers, comedians Kim Coles and Tommy Davidson, actor T.C. Carson, and performers Yo Yo and Montell Jordan are just a sampling of the confirmed talent to visit some of the local shops on Saturday. Former Los Angeles Laker Norm Nixon, national spokesperson for The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, is also slated to be on hand.

Ultimately, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program's goal is to screen more than 500,000 African American men by 2012. This unique and innovative grassroots program works with black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust in many communities as an effective avenue to disseminate health education information. The program has already tested close to 10,000 African American men in 23 cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta and Harlem.

Compared to the general public, African American males have a higher risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 3.7 million (14.7 percent) African Americans, ages 20 years or older, have diabetes, while statistics show that forty percent (40 percent) of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to twenty-one percent (21 percent) of white men.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program in partnership with Charles Drew University, U.C.L.A., Vasamed and Entrahealthsystems, will offer free screenings throughout Los Angeles at the following locations:

- The New Millennium BS, 4310 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
- In The Cut, 220 East Regent St., Inglewood, CA
- Next Cuts Beauty & Barber, 5712 West Pico, LA
- Legends Barbershop, 5366 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
- Inglewood's Finest, 122 S. Market St., Inglewood, CA

The program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Organization and the Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc., will offer screenings throughout the Inland Empire at:

- Da Mood Barbership, 205 E. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA
-Good Time Barbershop 924 E. Holt Ave, Pomona, CA
-N u Flava, Pomona, CA
-Hat's Off, 21065 Bear Valley Road, Apple Valley, CA
-Second To None, 12384 Palmdale Road, #103, Victorville, CA
-Signature Barbershop, 12555 Mariposa Road, Ste. F, Victorville, CA
-T's Barbershop, 15028 7th St. Ste. 2, Victorville, CA
-Who's Next, 21280 Brar Valley Rd., #115, Hesperia, CA

Founded by Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program seeks to empower African American men to better understand cardiovascular diseases through education, testing and prevention. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has effectively addressed the health concerns of African American men in nearly 200 black owned barbershops since December 2007. For additional information and to view a list of all the participating barbershop locations, go to

Photo Credit: Tony Lowe/PR Photos
Source: Jazzmyne PR

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