Program Director George McFarland from the African American Health Program (AAHP) is on this episode of Housecall talking to host, Dr. David Doman about the mission of the program to help reduce the African American disparities in Montgomery County. Covid-19 highlighted these disparities because of the socioeconomic factors and social determinate that really undermine the quality of life, access t0 care, and the risk of living shorter and sicker lives. Poor nutrition is a major factor that intersects with access to grocery stores. In White Oak, where there are a large populations of African American, one of the largest being zip code 20904. There are not many grocery store options or a vast or high quality selection of foods. Which not eating nutritious foods and eating process foods is a direct link to diseases like Cancer, Diabetes, and Heart Disease. AAHP offers classes to educate you on different health and nutrition topics.
One of the most important disparities is infant mortality and maternal deaths for women of African decent and mothers in Montgomery County. S.M.I.L.E is their program aimed at reducing the likelihood that a mother will deliver an infant that is premature and not a health weight. They meet with the expectant mother regularly to help them with health and nutritious. They are many people who are not insured for many reasons, like being an immigrant or undocumented. Many are hesitant to go to the OBGYN and African American Health Program encourages theses women to go and see them up to a year after giving birth to help have healthy pregnancies and births, so these children can be healthy from the start. They help get insurance for the birth and provide a car seat when the can’t afford one.
African American Health Program focuses on six major health areas: infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, oral health, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Services provided include outreach, health education, support groups, and nurse case management. The program is staffed by a wide range of healthcare professionals, including physicians, registered nurses, health educators, and community outreach personnel. AAHP provides demonstration to prepare healthy, nutritious food. There are weight management and fitness classes and programs offered. There is mental health help too.
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