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Hair Today, Health Tomorrow - Local Barbershops, Beauty Salons to Provide Health Screenings

Pitt’s Center for Minority Health Hosts Eighth Annual ‘Take a Health Professional to the People Day’

Regular visits to the doctor’s office are an important part of staying healthy, yet many people do not have a primary care physician for routine checkups. To address this need, the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will hold the eighth annual “Take a Health Professional to the People Day” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17 at 10 barbershops and beauty salons throughout Pittsburgh. The event creates a unique opportunity for African-Americans who lack a medical home or may be hesitant to visit the doctor’s office, to talk about health in the comfort of their local barbershop or beauty salon.

“Historically, barbershops and beauty salons have been where African-Americans gather not only to get haircuts and styles, but to network, debate politics, socialize and exchange information through the ‘grapevine’,” said Angela Ford, PhD, executive director of the CMH. “It just makes sense that health promotion and disease prevention would work well in this trusted environment.”

This year, teams of volunteer physicians, nurses, public health educators, dentists and pharmacists from Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences, Duquesne University School of Nursing, Gateway Health Plan, Mayo Clinic, University of Colorado, University of Wisconsin and health advocates from across the city will join CMH’s innovative community outreach effort. Many of the participating barbers and salon operators have been trained by CMH as lay health advocates. By providing free blood pressure screening and education about diabetes, cancer, hypertension and HIV/AIDS, the event seeks to build trust and promote health and prevent disease in African-American communities.

Screenings will take place at the following locations beginning at 10 a.m.:

Bat’s Barber Shop
5911 Penn Ave., East Liberty

Big Tom’s Full Service Barber Shop
2042 Centre Ave., Hill District

Center of Attraction
2019 Centre Ave., Hill District

Crown of Glory Hair Salon
2203 Centre Ave., Hill District

Hamm’s Barber Shop
2178 Centre Ave., Hill District

Mark Anthony Beauty Salon
311 S. Craig St., Oakland

Ms. Ida’s Epiphany Barber Shop
822 Wood St., Wilkinsburg

The Natural Choice
111 Meyran Ave., Oakland

Wade’s Barber Shop
7223 Kelly St., Homewood

Willie Tee’s Barber Shop
7205 Frankstown Rd., Homewood

Established in 1994 with a grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation, CMH is committed to translating evidence-based research into community-based interventions and innovative outreach practices. The CMH provides the infrastructure for addressing health issues among ethnic and racial minorities and other vulnerable and underserved populations. For more information, visit

For additional information about Take a Health Professional to the People Day, contact Mario Browne at (412) 624-9472. Reporters interested in covering the event, should contact Clare Collins at (412) 648-9725 or


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