The primary goal of HAIR is to provide year-round health education, resources, and health screenings for customers and staff in the shops and salons and to connect persons in need to a medical home. CHE hopes this initiative will help individuals make informed decisions regarding their health and health care and ultimately reduce health inequity in Pittsburgh. Over the past ten years, barbers and stylists in the shops received training as lay health advocates on such topics as health disparities, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, health risks, and some were CPR certified.
For "TADay" CHE seeks all types of health professionals: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, health science students, social workers, health and human service providers, etc. to volunteer in participating shops to offer health screening and health resources. It typically takes place in April over several hours at various shops, and volunteers are sought in one hour increments. More information will be posted and volunteers will be solicited for the next TADay each spring.
In September 2002, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a national campaign called “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” to promote health and wellness in African American communities, the Center for Health Equity (CHE, former Center for Minority Health) established relationships with local African American owned and operated barbershops and hair salons to promote wellness in these well established and trusted community institutions. The campaign was a perfect match. CHE tailored it to fit local needs and created a program called “Take a Health Professional to the People Day” (TADay). On TADay, health professionals volunteer their time and services to provide health screenings and health education to customers and staff in African American owned and operated barbershops and hair salons located in the Hill District, East Liberty, Homewood, and Oakland neighborhoods.
Lora Ann Bray
manager of community partnerships, education, and training