Los Angeles – Some 100 barbershops throughout Los Angeles and the Inland Empire will be bustling with extra activity this Saturday, November 7, 2009, from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. when Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation, launches the of Los Angeles Initiative of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program.
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach program, sponsored by a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, will offer free diabetes and high blood pressure screenings to African American men who normally visit their local barbers just anticipating the usual haircut. In addition, participants will be provided education about healthy lifestyle alternatives along with PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) screenings and PEP Talk: the Prostate Education Project will address the issue of prostate cancer by distributing culturally appropriate educational materials as well.
In an effort to drive the need for health care and education home to a demographic in need of it most, celebrity support has been enlisted. Sherri Shepard, co-host of “The View”, took time out of her very busy schedule to record a public service announcement on KJLH Radio, a station owned by Stevie Wonder, while celebrity participants The Whispers, comedians Kim Coles and Tommy Davidson, actor T.C. Carson, and performers Yo Yo and Montell Jordan are just a sampling of the confirmed talent to visit some of the local shops on Saturday. Former Los Angeles Laker, Norm Nixon, named national spokesperson for The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, is also slated to be on hand.
Ultimately, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program’s goal is to screen more than 500,000 African American men by 2012. This unique and innovative grassroots program works with black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution of familiarity and trust in many communities as an effective avenue to disseminate health education information. The program has already tested close to 10,000 African American men in 23 cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta and Harlem.
Compared to the general public, African American males have a higher risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 3.7 million (14.7 percent) African Americans, ages 20 years or older, have diabetes, while statistics show that forty percent (40 percent) of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to twenty-one percent (21 percent) of white men.
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, in partnership with Charles Drew University, U.C.L.A., Vasamed and Entrahealthsystems, will offer free screenings throughout Los Angeles including the following locations:
– The New Millennium BS ,4310 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 9004
– In The Cut, 220 East Regent St., Inglewood, CA 90301
– Next Cuts Beauty & Barber * 5712 West Pico, LA 90019
– Legends Barbershop, 5366 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
– Inglewood’s Finest, 122 S. Market St., Inglewood, CA 90301
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, in partnerships with Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Organization and the Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc., will offer screenings throughout the Inland Empire at:
-Da Mood Barbership, 205 E. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA 91766
-Good Time Barbershop 924 E. Holt Ave, Pomona, CA 91766
-N u Flava, Pomona, CA 91767
-Hat’s Off 21065 Bear Valley Road, Apple Vally, CA 92308
-Second To None, 12384 Palmdale Road, #103, Victorville, CA 92345
-Signature Barbershop, 12555 Mariposa Road, Ste. F, Victorville, CA 92345
-T’s Barbershop, 15028 7th St. Ste. 2, Victorville, CA 92395
-Who’s Next, 21280 Brar Valley Rd., #115, Hesperia, CA 92345
Founded by Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M. the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, seeks to empower African American men to better understand cardiovascular diseases through education, testing and prevention. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has effectively addressed the health concerns of African American men in nearly 200 black owned barbershops since December 2007. For additional information and to view a list of all the participating barbershop locations, go to http://www.BlackBarbershop.org .
About Dr. Bill Releford
Dr. Bill Releford began private practice in 1990 and started the Diabetic Foot Institute, a facility dedicated exclusively to the reduction of diabetes-related amputations in high-risk populations. Most patients were oblivious to the standard of care that should be expected during the occurrence of a diabetic foot complication or the unfortunate recommendation for lower-extremity amputation. Dr. Releford’s personal and professional mission is to create innovative ways to decrease diabetes-related amputations. “Five Colors To Better Health” is his new book dedicated to a clear understanding of how eating a variety of colors can reduce your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure as well as other chronic diseases. Visit with him at http://www.5ColorsADay.com .
About the Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation
The DAP Foundation’s mission is to help decrease the diabetes-related amputation rate among high risk populations around the world and address the escalating number of individuals with undetected cardiovascular disease. The DAP Foundation’s African American Men’s Outreach Program seeks to partner with community groups and organizations to reduce the incidence of health conditions that adversely affect African American males by utilizing education, prevention and early detection through screening activities. DAP’s efforts have already been successfully duplicated in other metropolitan areas, such as Oakland, Chicago, Harlem, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta and New Orleans. For more information on participating or sponsorship opportunities, please visit
Photo: left to right, Dr. Bill Releford and “The View” Co-Host Sherri Shepherd at “2009 African American Men’s Health and Empowerment Summit”
Photo Credit: Tony Lowe / PR Photos