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Forum on African American Health in U.S. May 25th

African American Health Forum Speaker Kevin L. Thomas, MD,

Durham, NC – The status African American health in the U.S. will be the focus when Community Health Coalition, Inc. (CHC) hosts its annual community meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Hayti Heritage Center (804 Old Fayetteville Street, Durham). The public is invited to attend this important forum that brings together a cross section of community members, leaders, service providers, organizations, and businesses to learn about and discuss critical health issues and strategies for improving community and population health outcomes among African Americans.   This year’s African American community health forum theme is “Patient-Centered and Population Health for Us.” A reception will be held during the event.

Guest speaker for the forum is Kevin L. Thomas, MD, F.A.C.C., Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at Duke University Medical Center and a Community Health Coalition board member.  Dr. Thomas states, “Strive to improve your overall health by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle in addition to arming yourself with knowledge on heart health”.

A clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, Dr. Thomas received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology fellowships at Duke University Medical Center and served as chief resident in the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Thomas is well-published in the field of racial and ethnic differences in cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes. His passion and commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular care and outcomes is reflected in his research focus and mentoring of students, residents and fellows committed to careers in health disparity research. Dr. Thomas is an active member of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the National Medical Association.

This community health forum will bring together diverse stakeholders to engage community in a focused discussion and survey on African American health outcomes in Durham.  The forum will open with a 15-minute viewing of a segment from Unnatural Causes followed by two brief presentations and open community dialogue and exchange.  The forum discussion will focus on highlighting trends across multiple chronic health conditions that are having a deleterious impact on the wellbeing and vitality of the African American community.

In addition, during the forum a population health survey designed to assess barrier to chronic disease self-management related diabetes, hypertension and heart disease will be administered. After completing the survey, using a respondent driven survey sampling method, each African American participant will be asked to recruit 5 additional African American persons to complete the survey, which can be done either through paper-pen format or online.

The survey data will be analyzed and shared in collaboration with leading population health researchers and practitioners in cardiovascular health, hypertension, and diabetes. This year, based on feedback from community members and our partners, CHC is anticipating 150 to 175 community members and partners interested in and committed to improving African American’s health outcomes and health management in Durham.

The Community Health Coalition, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to improving health outcomes for African Americans and historically disadvantaged populations in Durham and surrounding areas who shoulder a disproportionate share of morbidity and mortality due to poor health outcomes across a broad spectrum of illness and disease. There motto is “a healthy community includes you,” because they know that creating healthy communities, families, and individuals will require the collective works and concerted efforts by everyone in the community from lay persons and community leaders, health educators and practitioners, and health care service providers.  The core of their work is done through providing health education and promotion, health equity advocacy, and health care services referrals.

Over the twenty seven years of service in Durham County  and surrounding communities, Community Health Coalition programs and projects focus on breast cancer/breast health awareness, blood pressure education/hypertension and diabetes self-management workshops, organ/tissue donation project, health fairs, publication of the monthly Health Tips, substance abuse prevention programs for the youth and computer-based education Check, Change, Control.  Elaine Hart-Brothers, MD is the Founder and Executive Director.

For more information or become a volunteer call 919-470-8680 or visit the website at or

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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