Sanford-Brown Institute Joins Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program to Address Community Health Disparities

October 19, 2010

Tour Continues Effort to Screen and Educate over 30,000 African American Men for Diabetes, Hypertension and Prostate Cancer

New York, NY (October 19, 2010) – Sanford-Brown Institute – New York will participate in the 2nd annual New York City Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program on October 30, 2010 presented by the Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation. The program will offer free diabetes and high-blood pressure screenings and provide information on prostate cancer to African American men at 30 black-owned barbershops throughout Harlem, Manhattan and the Bronx from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sixty students from the Medical Assistant program at SBI – New York will be spread out among the 30 locations and will provide blood pressure screenings, glucose and diabetes testing, conduct health surveys and provide information on prostate screenings.

“This is a great opportunity for our Medical Assisting students to put their skills to use and help people,” said Daniel Lenzo, SBI – New York campus president. “With the prevalence of health disparities today, it is very reassuring to know there are organizations like this working to minimize the gap.” 

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program (BBHOP) is a unique and innovative grassroots approach to health education and testing. 

"Our goal is to screen over 2,000 African American men in the New York metropolitan area and provide preventive education about the disease and its complications," said Dr. Bill Releford, founder of DAP Foundation's Black Barbershop Outreach Program. 

The foundation's overall mission is to increase public awareness of diabetes and its complications through early detection, information dissemination and word-of-mouth.  SBI – New York students will help conduct free diabetes and high blood pressure screenings at all 30 designated barbershops. Participants with abnormal findings will be referred to physicians or health care facilities listed in the “Real Black Book” Medical Resource Guide developed by BBHOP specifically for New York City.

The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program is the first initiative of its kind to exclusively address health care disparities in African American Men on a national level.  The BBHOP will underscore the need for African American men to adopt healthier lifestyles and to promote early detection of diabetes and hypertension.  Forty percent of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21 percent of white men. African American Men suffer far worse health conditions than any other racial group in America. There are a number of reasons for this including racial discrimination, lack of affordable health services, poor health education, cultural barriers, poverty, employment that does not carry health insurance and insufficient medical and social services catering to African American Men.

Black-owned barbershops represent a cultural institution in many communities, providing an environment of familiarity and trust – the perfect avenue to disseminate health education information.

"The black barbershop has for decades, served as a centralized gathering place where African American men feel comfortable discussing the most important issues that impact their lives: politics, social trends, family and finances,” explains Dr. Releford. “Now, we are introducing an important discussion of health and the critical need for awareness."

For the past several years the program has traveled throughout the country with the goal of screening 500,000 African American men for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, by the year 2012. Several informative videos on the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program initiative can be viewed at www.youtube.com

About Dr. Bill Releford
Dr. Bill Releford began private practice in 1990 and started the Diabetic Foot Institute, a facility dedicated exclusively to the reduction of diabetes-related amputations in high-risk populations. Most patients were oblivious to the standard of care that should be expected during the occurrence of a diabetic foot complication or the unfortunate recommendation for lower-extremity amputation.

Dr. Releford discovered that in approximately 70-85 percent of cases, amputation was recommended either prematurely or should not have been recommended at all. His entire practice became and remains dedicated exclusively to diabetic limb salvage. His limb salvage success and philosophy were formalized in the development of the Daniel Freeman Wound Care Center where platelet-derived growth factor therapy was used to facilitate the healing of chronic wounds via angiogenesis. A multi-disciplinary approach to limb salvage was exercised where vascular surgeons, infectious disease specialists, plastic surgeons, endocrinologists and podiatrists would collaborate solely for the benefit of salvaging a foot at risk of amputation.

About the Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation
The DAP Foundation's mission is to help decrease the diabetes-related amputation rate among high risk populations around the world and address the escalating number of individuals with undetected cardiovascular disease. The DAP Foundation's African American Men's Outreach Program seeks to partner with community groups and organizations to reduce the incidence of health conditions that adversely affect African American males by utilizing education, prevention and early detection through screening activities. DAP's efforts have already been successfully duplicated in other metropolitan areas, such as Oakland, Chicago, Harlem, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta and New Orleans.

About Sanford-Brown Institute – New York
Sanford-Brown Institute – New York (SBI) opened in 1977. The curriculum at SBI is designed to help students gain the specific skills and knowledge that employers are seeking.  SBI – New York offers programs in Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology, Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician and Diagnostic Radiography. Sanford-Brown Institute is institutionally accredited (accredited in total) by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  SBI - New York does not guarantee employment or salary.  SBI - New York is part of the Career Education Corporation network of schools (NASDAQ: CECO). For more information, please go to www.sanfordbrown.edu/newyork.

 

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