Take Action for Health: New Online Resource Exclusively for the African American Community
Raise your hand if 2020 took a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. 🖐🏼🖐🏾🖐🏽🖐🏿
Now, raise your hand if you had a hard time sorting through fact from fiction when searching for answers and/or solutions to your health concerns – or the health concerns of a loved one.
If you answered ‘yes’ to the statements above, you are not alone.
It’s no secret that racial disparities are prevalent in the health care system. The African American community has been erroneously underserved for decades. Although there have been great strides in many areas of health and healthcare management, African Americans oftentimes receive limited or minimal access to quality health care.
As African Americans, most times we find ourselves fighting for the same level of access to health exams, information, resources, medicine, and treatment/management options that are proactively offered to other race demographics.
We have a longstanding and well-documented history of being forced to be our own advocates for the health of ourselves and our loved ones. A daunting task when most times, the healthcare industry takes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the diagnosis and treatment of African American population.
I know about this all-too-well. In 2015, my then 18-year-old son became very close to undergoing emergency surgery to remove his appendix, before I intervened and demanded a second opinion from specialists, and more thorough examinations and tests, including a colonoscopy. It was later determined that he had developed Crohn’s disease, and a sizeable area of his small intestine needed immediate removal, and a partial nephrectomy was needed for his left kidney. Per the surgeon, the near misdiagnosis almost cost him his life.
A coloscopy played a critical role in ensuring that he was diagnosed correctly. Now a grad school student, teacher, homeowner, and soon-to-be husband, his lifelong medical condition requires him to continually monitor his kidney and colon health.
In addition, I had to visit several doctors statewide for many months before I was (finally) correctly diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder last year. The healthcare provider that then became my primary health physician – a fellow African American – took a long-term approach to my emotional health plan by determining the medicines and treatments that were best for me.
Needless to say, you want to always be certain that you are getting the right answers, screenings, and treatments when it comes to your health – especially if you’re African American. A brand-new website is now available to help you and your loved ones do exactly that.
Take Action for Health is a unique collaboration of organizations with a common goal of eliminating health disparities in the African American community. The website is exclusively developed for African American/Black community; and aims to reduce some of the greatest health risks facing the African American community today: emotional health, cancer, heart health, prediabetes, and kidney health.
The free online health resource focuses on early detection of the primary health issues that target the African American population, empowers you to learn, act, monitor, and share accurate information, risks, recommended health screenings for yourself, your family, and even your primary health care physician – all on one online platform at no cost.
Health screeners are available on the Take Action for Health website, which can be used to assess risks for health issues. While the health screeners are not diagnostic, they provide a great starting point to open the lines of communication with your primary health physician to begin the process of diagnosis and treatment. An option to print and/or download the results of your health screener(s) is provided for you to share via an online portal or in person during your office visit.
Convenient and easily accessible, Take Action for Health helps African Americans better manage their healthy living journey. For me, that means protecting my emotional health by completing the website’s depression and anxiety questionnaire on a regular basis; and utilizing their emotional wellness workshop and guide. For my son, that means learning when to schedule routine exams for his kidney and colon function – especially since colon cancer runs in our family (my paternal grandmother and my older sister both died of colon cancer).
For you, it could mean measuring your risks for diabetes or heart disease; or sharing your health screener results with your Healthcare provider to aid in requesting additional review of your health concerns or those of a loved one. Whatever it may be, Take Action for Health is for you.
The Take Action for Health initiative is dedicated to promoting better outcomes for the health and wellness of the African American community through education and self-advocacy. Register for free at: takeactionforhealth.org; and encourage your friends and loved ones to register as well. With the right information and resources, we can focus on living a healthy, happy, and vibrant life in the face of COVID as we move forward together in 2021 and beyond.
Why? Because our health matters.
Take Action for Health collaborative organizations include: Anthem, Inc., Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Golden State Medical Association, National Urban League, Pfizer Inc., and 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Feel free to contact for more information.