Visiting a barbershop on April 13 could mean more than just getting a haircut; it might save your life.
The Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males in conjunction with local commissions and community partners will provide health screenings and education at more than 50 barbershops from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Indiana Black Barbershop Heath Initiative, along with numerous volunteers, seeks to enlighten African-American men to better understand cardiovascular diseases through screening and education. This year’s statewide initiative partners include Admiral Medical Supplies, Affecting Cancer Together (ACT) and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.
The initiative also enjoys support from local health and community partners in each city.
Recent figures from the Indiana Department of Health show African-American men have the highest mortality rate of any group in Indiana. African-American men also suffer from prostate cancer at a higher level in Indiana than any other racial or ethnic group.
Through Black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust, the initiative chose to provide health information and screenings in an environment men are comfortable with. This year the goal is to screen over 1,000 men across the 12 cities.
Last year in nine participating cities 748 screenings were performed.
This is the third year for the annual initiative and from the first year with six cities the initiative has doubled to 12 cities. The initiative utilizes over 50 barbershops, over 200 barbers and more than 300 volunteers.