We’ve heard the numbers. The statistics are alarming. African American and Latino communities suffer from a higher prevalence of preventable, systemic illnesses such as Hepatitis, Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, and even certain forms of Cancer. Cases of sexually-transmitted diseases have also reached all-time highs in the inner cities of America. African Americans now account for an estimated 44 percent of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents.
Realizing that action must be taken, the Danielle Ashley Group, a Chicago-based marketing and public relations firm, developed a grassroots strategy to confront these troubling health disparities head-on. The result was the First Ladies Health Initiative.
Launched in Chicago in 2008 and sponsored by Walgreens, the First Ladies Health Initiative is a collaborative consortium of 150+ faith-based organizations, elected officials, healthcare partners, city and gubernatorial departments, and community organizations. The goal of the First Ladies Health Initiative is to empower minority communities to take control of their health by providing necessary resources – such as free medical screenings, testing for various conditions, and access to health experts and medical information.
The Initiative has been so successful that the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), the oldest, largest and most prestigious nursing journal in the world, highlights the First Ladies Health Initiative on the front cover of their February 2019 edition. According to Executive Director of First Ladies Health Initiative & CEO of Danielle Ashley Group Tracey Alston, “We are excited and honored to be recognized on one of the oldest and most prestigious health journals in the world!”
Since 2008, the initiative has expanded tremendously, starting with 12 pastor’s wives in Chicago and building to a consortium of more than 160 First Ladies from across the United States. During their First Ladies Health Days, hundreds of houses of worship across all denominations open their doors to the community to provide free medical screenings and testing for a variety of illnesses and conditions.
Currently, First Ladies Health Days take place each year in Chicago, Gary, Indiana, Los Angeles, and Orange County, California and the initiative will soon expand to the East Coast and the South. Since the program began in 2008, over 300,000 medical tests and health screenings have been performed and many lives have been saved.
For more details, visit www.FirstLadiesHealth.com; or call 312-470-0270.