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Shaping Up Long Branch: Improving Healthcare & Hair Care at Heads Up Barbershop

Date:               June 27, 2018

To:                   Lisa Lee, Manager Bike & Pedestrian Programs, EZ Ride

From:              Paula Ross MSN RN, Community Health Education, Monmouth Medical Center

Subject:           Healthy Food Tasting / Health Screening Events at Heads Up Barber Shop, Long Branch

Event Dates: March 16 and June 22, 2018

It was a privilege to collaborate with you in addressing the health needs of our community.  Linda Grimes, RN and I were able to screen the barber shop patrons for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and BMI (Body Mass Index) as well as to address Kids Safety regarding laundry pods and fires in the home.

We have often observed the reluctance of men to address their own health needs, an issue substantiated by research.  Studies show than African American men are at particularly high risk for heart attacks, strokes and early death, but it can be hard to convince them to be screened.  While in the barber shop, we observed that the men were more comfortable and had peer support (and maybe a little positive peer pressure) to be screened.

Of the total of 30 screenings done, 6 had results that required them to contact their private physician or the neighborhood clinic for evaluation within the next day or two.  One man had such high blood pressure that Linda insisted that he see his doctor that same day or go directly to the emergency department.  He agreed to contact a family member who supported him to seek immediate care.  In addition, 10 screenings were in the range considered ‘pre’ hypertension or hyperlipidemia.  Evidence shows that by addressing blood pressure and cholesterol early, many heart attacks and strokes can be prevented.

I find it personally so rewarding to have the opportunity to screen this high risk population who are often medically under served.  You used your event to get their attention and bring them in with a variety of healthy foods and drinks for them to try, and they consented to be screened while they were there.

Thank you so much for doing this and for including us.

Paula and Linda

About the Grantee

EZ Ride

EZ Ride's mission is to implement transportation programs and services that enhance the quality of life, regional mobility and economic opportunity while reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. EZ Ride offers employee shuttles, car/vanpools, senior transportation, special transportation, and Safe Routes to School programs. To learn more, visit www.ezride.org or call 201-939-4242.