Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Office of Minority Health Makes Presentation

Speaking to the Bradley County Health Coalition during their August, 9th meeting was Chychy Smith, Health Program Specialist for the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparties, a division of the Arkansas Department of Health.  Ms. Smith provided a powerpoint presentation about the "Arkansas Minority Barber & Beauty Shop Health Initiative."  The purpose of the initiative is to increase public awareness about heart disease and stroke.  A part of the program is to screen for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Education is another step the program promotes to teach the importance of proper diet, exercise and recognition of symptoms of stroke and heart disease.  The third purpose of the program is to refer high risk individuals to health care.

According to statistics, as of 2013, 38.7% of Arkansas adults have been told they have high bloos pressure.  Arkansas has the 5th highest stroke death rate in America and the 4th highest heart disease death rate in the country.  In 2014, 9164 deaths occurred in Arkansas due to heart disease and strokes.  The rates are higher among African Americans.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women.  It was also pointed out that smoking kills more people each year than alcohol, AIDs, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined.

Coalition members spent some time talking about ways to implement an health event in Bradley County to screen, educate and refer those in need for medical treatment.  There was much discussion about doing this in conjunction with the annual Health Fair.  Further consideration will be given to a date and location for such an event.

to wrap up the meeting there was some talk about the best place to locate the community garden that has been planned.  the original site may not be usable.

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