Communities Nationwide Participate in Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day, Which Targets Minorities
Tuesday marks national Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day, a campaign sponsored by HHS' Office of Minority Health that seeks to encourage minorities to "take charge of their health by visiting a health professional," the Battle Creek Enquirer reports (Battle Creek Enquirer, 9/18).
The goal of the annual event is to encourage minorities to make an appointment with a heath care provider, attend a health event in their community and encourage someone else to do the same. Communities across the nation will host health screenings, fairs and other events, and health centers are prepared to take on new patients.
OMH is not actively managing the campaign this year but is supporting local communities' planning (HHS OMH Web site).
Various communities are hosting events in recognition of the day. The following summarizes news coverage about the events.
- The Black Health Care Coalition in Kansas City, Mo., is offering no-cost health screenings and a heath fair with more than 30 vendors (Kansas City Star, 9/17).
- The five health centers of the Pinellas County, Fla., Health Department will offer no-cost screenings on Tuesday to commemorate the day (Porter, Tampa Bay News Weekly, 9/17).
- The Margaret J. Weston Community Health Center in Clearwater, S.C., will hold a health fair on Tuesday in addition to offering education sessions and providing educational material on various illnesses to participants (Stone, Aiken Today, 9/15).
- The Michigan Department of Community Health will host a variety of events from Sept. 17 to Sept. 21, including numerous health fairs and screenings, to commemorate the day (Battle Creek Enquirer, 9/18).
"Initiatives like Take a Loved One [for a Checkup] Day and 'The 50-Million Pound Challenge'... are a good place to start" encouraging blacks to take responsibility of their health, Tallahassee Democrat reporter Meredith Clark writes in an opinion piece. Clark writes that for blacks, such events also take the "fear out of seeking health care" and help individuals understand that "disease prevention through maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key" in promoting good health (Clark, Tallahassee Democrat, 9/18).