In April, we mark National Minority Health Month by raising awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. African Americans are at a higher risk than White Americans for obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and heart disease. Over the years, African-Americans have made some definite progress with life expectancy but economic gaps and health disparities still exist. Despite this, African Americans can achieve good health and long active productive lives.
Community Health Coalition (CHC) with our partners’ mission is to “strive to achieve health equity and to eliminate racial health disparities in Durham County and the surrounding areas.” Additionally, CHC’s vision is to have “a society in which all people live long, healthy, active lives full of purpose and promise.”
Elaine Hart-Brothers, MD., M.P.H., affiliated with Duke General Internal Medicine and community medicine and UNC Gillings School of Public Health says, “Get Active !!!! Do not depend entirely on the government and others to close the gap in education, housing, economic status, and health. We can do a lot for ourselves to eliminate disparities. We can start by taking care of ourselves, our families, our loved ones, and our neighbors. As a community, we can unite and demand economic parity and equality and ask large agencies to show accountability and effectiveness of their efforts to eliminate disparities.”
What Can You Do?
- Take care of yourself and those you love by actively taking a part in your health care.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes good nutrition and regular exercise. Eat smaller portions and increase whole grains, nuts, and vegetables in your diet.
- Educate yourself on health care. Set goals and ask what your individual goal should be for blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and cholesterol.
- Participate in health care decisions with your doctor and regularly visit your primary care physician
- Track your family health and know your risks for certain health conditions.
- Get enough sleep, make friends, and engage in religious, social, and community activities.
- Avoid tobacco.
- Ensure personal safety by preventing falls, wearing a seat belt while driving, following fire precautions, and gun and violence control.
REMEMBER your ABC’s:
Advocate for your health.
Ask your health care provider questions
Be active physically at any age and active by volunteering in nonprofits church community. Believe in the best of ourselves
Control your immediate surroundings by getting fresh air, trying fresh food, developing a fresh positive outlook, and seeking help if needed.
Consult others and use available resources to learn more about your health.
For more information on health equity and health disparities:
Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Central Carolina Black Nurses’ Council Inc., The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, NC Mutual Life Insurance Company and Duke Regional Hospital.
REMEMBER Healthy People 2020: A Clear Vision to Healthy Living!