Health organizations put on blood pressure cuffs in barber shops, salons and churches

LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Hypertension is known as the silent killer and it’s especially prevalent in black communities, which is why local organizations are on a mission to get the word out – and they are doing it in unconventional ways.

At Ice Fade Barbershop, customers can walk in, socialize and have their hair cut. But they can also do a health check.

“What we do is put blood pressure cuffs in stores so that it gives customers the ability to check their blood pressure numbers,” said Andrew Suggs, Founder and CEO of Live Chair Health.

Targeting hair salons, salons and churches, Live Chair Health began in 2017 in Maryland with the goal of reducing health disparities in ethnic communities. Providence is the first on the West Coast to partner with Live Chair Health to bring the alternative health model to California.

“Unless our bodies really shut down, we don’t go in,” said Corey Thomas, hairstylist at Ice Fade City Barbershop. “And so here it actually helps everyone get up to speed with their blood pressure, helps them discover the early detection of some aspect of their life that they don’t really know about.”

“Healthcare is about trust,” said Kenya Beckman, philanthropy manager for Providence. “If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it has taught us that until you trust someone, until you trust a supplier, you are not ready to be so vulnerable about your health care. “

Thomas said he had had a stroke and up to this point he thought he was in perfect health. He said he hopes that by using the bond he has with his clients, he can help promote a healthier lifestyle.

“I know a lot about my clients,” Thomas said. “This is where the guys can talk about anything. We talk about our health, our families, so they’re really comfortable here.”

“You can never be too sure about your health,” said Darrin Hood after having his hair cut and his blood pressure checked. “So getting that blood pressure this morning was a good thing. It relaxed my mind.”

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