Programs Train Barbers, Hair Stylists To Educate Blacks About Health Risks
Some health advocacy groups and researchers are using black-owned barbershops and beauty salons to reach out to uninsured blacks, according to American Public Media's "Marketplace Morning Report." In Ohio, the Greater Cleveland Health Education and Service Council offers health screenings twice per year in 10 black-owned barbershops. Nurses at the shops conduct blood pressure tests and other screenings and refer clients for follow-up care when necessary. The council also trains barbers to discuss fitness and diet changes with clients. Sandra Farmer, executive director of the council, said, "Men communicate with one another in the barbershops, they talk about everything from sports to women to health, and so we thought that would be a good place to find them."
A similar model is effective for targeting women in beauty salons, according to research by Dawn Kleindorfer of the University of Cincinnati. Studies by Kleindorfer in Cincinnati and Atlanta found that women who were told about stroke by their hair stylists could list warning signs five months after their appointments (Saito, "Marketplace Morning Report," American Public Media, 5/21).
Audio and a transcript of the segment are available online.