Sherri Shepherd, Charlie Wilson, Dick Gregory, Norm Nixon to Join Men’s Health Summit



Los Angeles – In a continuing campaign to raise health awareness issues amongst Black men within the African American community, Dr. Bill J. Releford, the founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation, in conjunction with KJLH Radio and the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, are hosting the 2nd Annual African American Men’s Health & Empowerment Summit on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“The View’s” Sherri Shepherd and KJLH Radio’s Adai Lamar will serve as event co-hosts. Health activist Dick Gregory will provide the keynote speech. Norm Nixon serves as national spokesperson for the event with Charlie Wilson, Rosie Greer and Olden Polynice acting as event co-chairs. The summit will take place from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and feature workshops, vendors, give-aways and more. The Convention Center is located at 1201 S. Figueroa in Los Angeles, with the Summit taking place in the Concourse Hall. Admission is free.

The Annual African American Men’s Health & Empowerment Summit is yet another in Dr. Releford’s ongoing efforts to bring into focus the serious elements that contribute to the perpetuating health care disparities in African American men. With over 1500 men participating in health screenings for diabetes and hypertension at his recent Los Angeles Initiative of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, the Summit will extend that effort, expanding the focus to cancer, dental, vision, HIV/AIDS prevention, health care disparities, education and employment issues.

“As we celebrate the historic victory of President Barack Obama, we must remind ourselves that if current conditions prevail, we will continue to lose thousands of Baracks to a host of preventable medical maladies. The Annual African American Men’s Health & Empowerment Summit is designed specifically for men,” explains Dr. Releford. “We want them all to come out on Saturday and participate in this free event. The statistics are not good for us, but by increasing an awareness of the issues, we can make things better. The Summit will offer much needed educational opportunities for early detection and intervention.”

About the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program

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 and how to manage and prevent its complications. The program has a three prong strategy to its success: SCREEN, EDUCATE and REFER to the appropriate health care provider. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has effectively addressed the health concerns of African American men in nearly 230 black owned barbershops around the country since December 2007. For additional 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.

Dr. Releford has also just recently returned from Haiti and has launched the Haiti Limb Preservation Project to assist in preventing amputations on the survivors of the earthquake. “As a podiatric surgeon, specializing for the past 20 years in limb preservation and preventing amputations, it was hard to continue to watch the devastation in Haiti without getting involved,” cites Dr. Releford. “This is at the core mission of the Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation (DAP), which is to decrease amputations in high risk populations around the world.” The DAP Foundation has projects in Ghana, Uganda, Gabon, Fiji, as well as Brazil. Review the compelling video footage of Dr. Releford’s Haiti travels at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgYFi5AAzYw&feature=player_embedded .

The 2nd Annual African American Men’s Health & Empowerment Summit is funded in part by the DAP Foundation and a grant received from Congresswoman Maxine Waters. For more information log on at http://blackbarbershop.org/summitblast.htm.




Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program Celebrates Success, Screens Over One Thousand Men in L.A.


Los Angeles – When Dr. Bill J. Releford decided to positively impact the health and well being of African American men, he realized it was an extraordinary vision. Dr. Releford, his staff and over 230 volunteers demonstrated that real health care reform begins at home with the recent success of the Los Angeles Initiative of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, (BBHOP). Targeting over 100 barbershops throughout Los Angeles County, Riverside County and the High Desert communities, the event took place on a recent Saturday in November.

“We have to begin to be more responsible for our own health. Relying solely on policy-makers to keep us healthy may not be a wise move. Real health reform beings in your house and not the White House,” says Dr. Releford, a podiatric surgeon with over 20 years of preventing diabetes related amputations in high risk populations around the world, and the founder of The Diabetic Amputation Prevention (DAP) Foundation.

Compared to the general public, more African American men die prematurely from preventable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. As a result, African American men have the lowest life expectancy of any group in the U.S. Dr. Releford keenly understood that in order to effectively address health care disparities in African American men he would have to go into black-owned barbershops. Since its inception in December 2007, the program has screened over 10,000 men in over 23 cities and 230 barbershops. Ultimately, the goal is to screen over 500,000 by the year 2012.

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With over 1500 men screened recently in Los Angeles, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program impacted an audience of millions, spreading its message about the importance of health checkups as media tracked the day’s event. Celebrities on hand for support for the BBHOP included national spokesperson, former Los Angeles Lakers Norm Nixon, the Whispers, Kim Coles and Montell Jordan.

Event sponsors included a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and support from Vasamed, MyGlucoHealth, Andis Professional Clipper Company, Luster’s SCurl Products, The County of Los Angeles, Sanofi Aventis, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, UCLA Health System, KJLH, L.A.Care Health Plan, Novo Nordisk, along with volunteers partnerships from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., 100 Strong Black Men of Long Beach, Healthy Heritage Movement, Inc., United Nurses Association, and Kaiser Permanente Association of African American Professionals.

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 and how to manage and prevent its complications. The program has a three prong strategy to its success: SCREEN, EDUCATE and REFER to the appropriate health care provider. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has effectively addressed the health concerns of African American men in nearly 230 black owned barbershops around the country since December 2007. For additional go to http://www.BlackBarbershop.org.

Pictured from left to right (second photo): BBHOP spokesperson, former Los Angeles Laker Norm Nixon: Dr. Bill J. Releford, founder fo BBHOP; KJLH Radio personality, Adai Lamar and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Photo Credits: WJ Cousins




The View” Co-host Sherri Sheppard Joins Celebrity Effort for Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program Event November 7

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
http://www.BlackBarbershop.org .

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