Barbers Trim, UNAC/UHCP Members Screen
Los Angeles, CA – UNAC/UHCP members donated most of their Saturday, November 7, to providing health screening targeting African American men with the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program throughout the Los Angeles and Inland Empire. This unique and innovative grassroots program works with black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust in many communities, to disseminate health education information and help reach the goal of screening more than 500,000 African American men by 2012.
"It is so rewarding to get involved in the community and provide care to those who are most in need," stated Darla Tillman, an RN at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Office in Gardena. "Screening is so vital to African-American men, who suffer disproportionately from conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. Coming out here today is a real eye opener to what people without health care are going through."
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 Caucasian men.
UNAC/UHCP members who participated in the outreach effort included: Darla Tillman, RN; Lonelyss Lewis, NP; Patricia Lacy, RN; Andrea Gardiner, RN; Dale Barnett, RN; Tim Uliasz, RN; Larry Rick, PA; Teresa Alcala, RN; Irma Bermudez, RN; and Fred Tinamisan, RN, along with several UNAC/UHCP staff members. Throughout the day, volunteers had the opportunity to meet several celebrities, including Sherri Shepard (co-host, "The View"), The Whispers, comedians Kim Coles and Tommy Davidson, actor T.C. Carson, performers Yo Yo and Montell Jordan, and former LA Laker Norm Nixon.