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More Than a Haircut: Health Care Providers To Give Screenings at Local Barbershops and Beauty Salons

Seventh Annual “Take a Health Professional to the People Day” organized by Pitt’s Center for Minority Health

Regular visits to the doctor’s office are an important part of staying healthy, yet many people do not have a primary care physician with whom they can schedule routine checkups. To reach people who might not otherwise have routine access to health care providers, the GSPH’s Center for Minority Health (CMH) will present the seventh annual Take a Health Professional to the People Day™ from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, September 18 at nine local barbershops and beauty salons.

Activities will take place at the following locations:

The Natural Choice
111 Meyran Ave., Oakland

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

Wade’s Barber Shop
7223 Kelly St., Homewood

Willie Tee’s Barber Shop
7205 Frankstown Road, Homewood

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

A Second Glance Wellness Spa and Salon
215 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty

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

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

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

Teams of volunteer physicians, nurses, public health educators, dentists and pharmacists from Pitt’s schools of the health sciences and Duquesne University School of Nursing as well as health advocates from across the city will travel to the East End, Hill District, and Oakland neighborhoods as part of CMH’s innovative community outreach effort to build trust, provide potentially life-saving information and health screenings needed to promote health and prevent disease in African-American communities.

The yearly event continues to provide a bridge for health professionals to engage the African-American community in screenings for diabetes, cancer, hypertension and HIV/AIDS, and educate community members about risk factors for chronic diseases. The program creates an opportunity for African-Americans with no medical home, or those who may be hesitant to visit the doctor’s office, to talk in the comfort of the local barbershop or beauty salon. In addition, many of the barbers and salon operators have been trained by CMH as lay health advocates and are certified by the American Red Cross in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED).

“We know more than ever about how to prevent and control chronic diseases that affect far too many African-Americans,” said Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, director, CMH and Philip Hallen Professor of Community Health and Social Justice at GSPH. “By focusing on neighborhoods in which access to care is a major issue, we hope to connect with people who need additional resources the most. The benefits come directly to the community participants and also to the health professionals who gain confidence in their ability to reach African-Americans at risk for preventable illness.”

Take a Health Professional to the People Day has succeeded in capturing the attention of the national medical community. For the second consecutive year, health professionals, scholars and researchers from the Mayo Clinic’s Urban Immersion program will partner with CMH in delivering the unique services offered that day.

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. 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 on Take a Health Professional to the People Day, contact the Center for Minority Health at 412-624-5665.


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