Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 06, 2012
Of all minority groups, African-Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups. African-Americans have more disease, disability, and early death as well. African American women are becoming more at risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes. Yet, both can be prevented.The Black Beauty Shop Health Outreach Program, headed by Dr. Didra Brown Taylor, has taken on the challenge to address health disparities among African American women, right where they are, in the beauty shop.
The Black Beauty Shop Health Outreach Program is a natural outgrowth of the overwhelming national success of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, which to date has screened over 37,000 men for diabetes and high blood pressure. The Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program was officially launched on August 28, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Congressman Alcee Hastings with over 15 barbershops and beautyshops participating in the screening effort, states Dr. Bill Releford, founder of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program and co-founder of the Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program.
About African American Women and Their Health
African American women are more at risk than other American women, even other minority groups for chronic, debilitating disease and catastrophic illness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Social determinants, including institutional barriers, discrimination, inadequate access to health care, poverty, lack of insurance, lack of accessible prevention programs, lack of health education and outreach programs in impacted communities, socio economic factors, cultural differences, unhealthy behaviors, higher rates of poverty, incarceration and inadequate housing as well as inadequate ethno centered research all compound the alarming rates of preventable morbidity and mortality among African American women.
Black owned beauty shops have historically been a gathering place and safe haven for African American women. We have long standing traditions of using the black beauty shop as a one stop information highway and cultural center. This is where we literally and figuratively let our hair down and bear our souls. Its a sacred place where the bond between stylist and client is often stronger and more respected than that between family members. Its a place where woman to woman, we share our hopes, dreams, frustrations and fears. Its a place where African American women go for validation, information and referrals.
About the Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program
The Black Beauty Shop Health Outreach Program is a vehicle for access to heath information, offers free health screenings and education to address the critical lack of services to underserved African American women through Black owned beauty shops across America. The goal of the program is to build alliances with trusted community partners to align health, education and awareness with beauty regimens to address the needs of the African American women in a safe and easily accessible location where personal care is the focus.
The Black Beauty Shop Outreach Program is a grassroots community organization that seeks to train and provide ongoing support to participating salons so that we may bridge the gap in health disparities in our communities.
The mission of the Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program is to utilize the existing infrastructure that beauty shops provide across the country to educate African-American women about the benefits of adopting healthier lifestyles to decrease the impact of preventable cardiovascular diseases
About Didra BrownTaylor, PhD, MPH, MA—Founder, Executive Director and Principal Investigator
Dr. Didra Brown Taylor, Ph.D., MPH has a BA and BS in Black Studies and Biology from the University of the Pacific. She received her Masters in Public Health in Urban Health from Charles Drew University. Dr. BrownTaylor completed her Post-doctoral Fellowship at UCLAs Neuropsychiatric Institute. She received graduate training in multicultural community-clinical psychology and specializes in culturally appropriate community-based research methodology. She is a National Institutes of Health- Health Disparities Research Scholar. For more than 18 years, Dr. BrownTaylor has been a trailblazer in researching issues in barbershops and beautyshops, such as the consequences of malt liquor drinking among African American men and the nexus between haircare and exercise practices among African American women. The focus of her current community-involved research is the Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program which conducts health screenings, offers access to healthcare for the uninsured, tests for environmental contaminants and provides healthy hair and nail education programs for African American women. Ultimately, Dr. BrownTaylor wants African American women to look just as good on the inside as they do on the outside. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Public Policy Award for Los Angeles County. She is currently an Assistant Professor, mentor and Principal Investigator of the Black Beautyshop Health Outreach Program at Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science..