The Black Health Care Coalition and Humana Announce “More Healthy Days” Barbershop and Beauty Parlor Tour to Combat Minority Health Disparities in Kansas City

Region-wide health program aims to educate residents, bridge the gap in access to adequate health care by meeting people at the cornerstones of their communities

Originally Published by Humana.

Certain health conditions— including diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke— are not only more common among African Americans than other populations, but they are also more fatal, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In an effort to combat this health disparity on a local level, a new health initiative by the Black Health Care Coalition of Kansas City in partnership with leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) will offer medical care to Kansas City residents in unlikely places – neighborhood barber shops and beauty parlors.

The “More Healthy Days” Barbershop and Beauty Parlor Tour will begin providing residents in Kansas City access with free health screenings and wellness classes at barbershops and beauty parlors in the area on April 8, 2019, in concurrence with Black Health Awareness Week. The initiative will aim to screen 1,000 residents at participating locations from April to October of 2019.

“We want to meet people where they are,” said Melissa Robinson, president, Black Health Care Coalition. “Barber shops and beauty salons have long been trusted places to freely share stories, establish relationships and receive advice. The ‘More Healthy Days’ tour will engage our local institutions in building healthy people and healthy communities.”

The Barbershop and Beauty Parlor Tour will provide free medical screenings at 25 participating salons in the area, including Parkinson’s, diabetes and hypertension testing, exercise classes, plus provide important health resources. This arm of the “More Healthy Days” campaign will also address other social determinants of health such as social isolation and food insecurity, which are associated with adverse health outcomes.

“Humana is committed to addressing health disparities in Kansas City as part of our Bold Goal initiative to improve the health of communities across the country 20 percent by 2020,” said Jeremy Gaskill, Humana’s regional president. “We are proud to partner with the Black Health Care Coalition to mobilize local organizations, physicians, and business leaders around this salient medical problem and deliver health care in places where minority residents spend time and feel comfortable.”

Bold Goal community progress is measured using the Healthy Days metric developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which considers a person’s mental and physical health over a 30-day period. Research conducted by Humana has demonstrated that for each Unhealthy Days, there is an associated $15.64 PMPM higher medical cost. This indicates the long term potential for cost savings resulting from improved Healthy Days and underscores the imperative of the Bold Goal to address health disparities and encourage more Healthy Days in the community.

To learn more about the “More Healthy Days” campaign, or to register a local business establishment to participate in the health screenings, visit bhcckc.org.

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