Mosaic Episode 28 African American Health Program April 2017

[Music] [Music] [Music] hello and welcome to another edition of mosaic an african-american perspective I’m your host Deborah Milo Montgomery County’s african-american health program addresses health disparities that are disproportionately affecting both African Americans and African immigrants well on today’s show we’ll be talking to our Lee Wallace with the African American Health Program in Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services and Jorge McFarland founder and president of McFarland and associates who is responsible for implementing the program are Leigh and George welcome thank you for coming on to mosaic today thank you for having us very welcome I want to really delve into the subject matter about the african-american health program itself so early if you don’t mind I’d like to begin with you what exactly is the african-american health program because I don’t think a lot of people know about it the african-american health program press was the only program that is within HHS that really focus on the health that impacts blacks in the county the African American health program actually got originally established when David Satcher was in town met dr. factory writes he’s wonderful gentleman years ago back in the late 90s and there was a community forum that was actually put on by HHS and dr. Satcher presented health disparities information that was talking about that various type of chronic diseases it was impacting blacks during that time HIV was one of course along with infant mortality cardiovascular disease diabetes as well as cancer so some of the Health Department professionals took it upon themselves to meet with the leadership and they actually set up and started to design and create the African American health program but during that time it was actually called the African American Health Initiative and then in later years that name change in the program but that was dealing with some nurses along with others within HHS ISM came together and they actually crafted out clean sedation attempt to do to address the issue those impacting blacks as once that was actually put in place the county then awarded general funding to try to craft a program specifically aim to address the issues impacting the black community in Montgomery County okay that program has since then grown and it’s been in existence since like 1998 that’s what it actually really came to be so we’re still actively involved and engaged here in the county right where we have the services that are targeted and particularly tailored to addressing these in the black community so no George how does how do you come into play for this well I’m the current contractor I was a program the program is contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services and what we do is actually run the program we hire the staff we deploy the staff we do the planning and the execution of the program I’ve been in public health for many many years and like you got my started Public Health in the early 70s and really get began to appreciate particularly the power of data to drive Leah Graham execution yes and to put in place measurements and ways of tracking our progress so I think that one of the things that really intrigues me about this this challenge of improving health status is using measurements and using data to guide our strategy and our approach to reducing the nature and magnitude of the problem mm-hmm do you work with other grassroots programs I’m just curious in order to create everything that you do well the program itself is created by work with community partners we have what is called our the african-american executive a coalition that is a group from all walks of life and they come in and work from different perspectives on health care and healthcare disparities right so we work with that group as being as one of the advisors but we also actually involved with groups such as the seamer who deals with the infant a minority of motels review as well as others and communities are engaging with hospital isn’t as well and then we’ve even reached further where we have a lot more engagement with our community partners such as our community centers our schools we’ve been engaged with the correctional facility and bringing various type of services to those individual who will soon be released back into the community and that’s a critical part that’s critical part so now what are some of the other services that are offered by the program one of the one of the programs that we’re particularly excited about is our health screenings programs and we think it’s important to them for every individual to understand what your personal health risk on it is all we placed particular emphasis on risk assessment we want everybody to be able to take charge of your health it’s not just your physician it’s what you can do and that’s one of the things I find most exciting we want to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to good health that everyone should know their numbers you should know what your blood pressure is you should know your body mass index you should know all of these factors like your level of cholesterol or what it is whether or not you are close to obese underweight overweight also by putting you in control you may be better prepared then to influence the future of your health and because health is the most important thing that you have in your life is it really is it really is and that’s so important George what you said putting yourself in control because when you can make those decisions you have a better outcome exactly it’s really truly all about prevention and one of the other programs that George had mentioned was also focus on maternal and child health oh yes because the county we have a high rate and compared to any other race or ethnicity with a loss of incidence before h1 so we actually have a program that focuses on expected amount less than 28 weeks that we will work with that mom along with the entire family and make sure that we follow the child over to age one and we will provide information such as child birth and classes and child safety dealing with health and nutrition prenatal care what we call basically our nurse manage the coordinating services and then we will also work with moms and following through it’s like a developmental a milestones of the child to make sure he is she is really on target and developing quite well throughout that first year of birth because that is the time that we tend to lose a tragic menace’ that’s true infants a loss and that’s one of our other programs I want to at least share with you oh no I’m glad you did our Lee who is actually responsible for implementing the services well as minister of georgia state his office this program is responsible for so they do the full implementation yes we do the full implementation we are unique in that we can have nurses who actually go into the homes increasingly we’re looking at not only clinical services but we are looking at some of the social determinants in other words we understand that the environment is also very important we have and it stress we understand that the whole safety of the house is important on the sleeping arrangements right so unlike when you go to a doctor’s office where they aren’t able to look at your sleeping conditions the arrangements and family the safety and security where children are we are given a unique opportunity and an opportunity to bond 101 with that mother would try to increasingly involved right fathers in the decision making them ensuring the safety and security especially with young parent especially with your naps parents and they’re really understanding things like the importance of having safe sleeping arrangement right avoiding cold sleeping oh yes and the other important thing I think is really important that we stay with the child and the mother family for 12 months after the child is born so we know that it’s not only important that we have a healthy live birth that is full weight a healthy weight but also that we have available the technical resources and the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the continuity of that developmental growth of that child we’ll be able to weight a child give them an advice on medications keeping appointments providing social support emotional support looking at issues like depression we know depression is a people absolutely you know and so really just understanding the emotional challenges inherent in being a new mother the first 12 months of particularly very often you have children who cry a lot and oh yes your parents aren’t prepared for that I got news for your old parents and I event because we live in a community where you have this whole intergenerational of individuals and households from different ranges we’re now also making sure we’re engaging the parents and making sure that we be as tactful as possible and making sure that be how grandmother auntie may have raised the children that we now have to instill and pass that knowledge along to those caretakers so in the absence of mom and dad we want to make sure that grandmother auntie whomever displaying that baby safely on their back and with nothing in the crib nothing in the crib and try to emphasize those as well and I do want to say is that our program there is no cost whatsoever for anyone who gets involved with our program that was my next going home okay I say that again there is no cost there’s no eligibility requirement for anyone to be a part of our program whatsoever and see that hope that’s been critical and coming from the health department that shows you the uniqueness of this program and an emphasis on why the county had to take it on knowing that there comes a time that you cannot look at the income because the factors that involve say low birth weight babies an infant to death has nothing to do with one socio-economic that’s right so we want to make sure that we have for everyone how do how when it comes to african-americans in Montgomery County or Africans in Montgomery County how do those rates compare with other counties that you’ve seen so far wise well it really kind of depends on of the area you’re looking at okay Montgomery County despite the fact as well in this education right when you start to look at and I’ll say the three lodges including Baltimore City but government County tends to have some of the highest is the third if I’m not mistaken but instant ones how she lost someone why am I talking about something yeah yes and it is still that trend has not changed there may be times that it may have a drop but then eventually something happens and we think that could be related to the true diverse population of relax at Montgomery has in the age of which individual also having their children also could have some implications as well as as George said the environmental issues you know the the strains that are put on families with with the stressful nosov the cost to live in Montgomery County you happen to choose different type of things in order to live here so that is one we also tend to have just a much higher rate when it comes to diabetes although Naugles blacks may not have a highest diabetes all rate itself it then has the highest when it comes to early disability amputation as well as frequent visits to the ER room for issues related to diabetes so we have a lot of other facets that really impacts out one who suffers from those type of chronic diseases and it’s really across the board now one can say because we are so diverse we have a substantial number of blacks potentially in the county which will also impact your numbers on a greater degree both buddy start looking at the prevalence and causes and more so than mortality and these things are something that we can really address through prevent so we do see that Montgomery County despite its location those numbers are still just as high as it is in other areas where you would expect it not to be in comparison okay when we come back we’re going to talk more about that because I want to touch on some more things and we’re going to talk about the upcoming event as well thank you thank you for those of you who’ve just tuned in you’re watching mosaic an African American perspective I’m Deborah Milo and we’re talking with our Lee Wallace with the county’s african-american health program and George McFarland founder and president of McFarland and associates after a quick break we’ll be right back with more conversation about this very important health initiative moving high school psychologist and helping people was my thing after my stroke when Hill’s our mill started I was another domestics in school I appreciated very much the tension that was giving my name is Julius Gaines with Ryder Boyd time for America let’s do lunch drop off a hot meal and say hello volunteer by donating your lunch break at America let’s do lunch to work you’ve messed up your son’s haircut ma dua tried to fix it like it never happened be work with what you’ve got or see show solidarity as a parent there are no perfect answers but you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent thousands of teens in foster care will love you just the same please have seat I’ll be honest the resume no one abused I know okay so what would you bring to my company what do you need I need a hard worker good I’ve got two part-time jobs and to help my parents pay the bills made problem-solving skills I thought through high school without a car a phone or a computer no college degree though not yet but life’s taught me a lot and I’m ready for more well you’re not the typical kind of candidate that I hire but you are exactly what I’m looking for your company could be missing out on the candidates it needs most learn how to find cultivate and train a great pool of untapped talent at grads of welcome back to mosaic an african-american perspective I’m here with our Lee Wallace in George mcFarland and we’re discussing the african-american health program here in Montgomery County our Lee and George before we went to break I did want to talk about this status or the state of african-american males and the health disparities here in Montgomery County can you both touch on that George kind of start with me the story first of all I would say one of the big biggest problems is that generally african-american and of African descent have the shortest life spans tread they live unfortunately some of the sickest lives meaning that very often they die from preventable illness right and I think that’s the good news the good news is that these are for the most part the things that we can really do something about and I’m just so impressed at what happens when people become aware you know we think often we have to depend on miraculous machinery or medications but really it’s about information information is power and in and when we take that information in and I’m just really impressed at the people who come up to me after a seminar workshop and say really I feel like you saved my life and I’m just so impressed I feel that I’ve done so little they’re empowered they feel empowered and I think there are things like over half of black men and women in this county Oh overweight all B’s half over had more than a more than half yes and that’s something we can do and many of us are aware that we are obese and otherwise so important for us to do the body mass in there getting so people amazed you mean I’m easy and we see yes and but we can do something about that and we can start today we can start tomorrow and the more important things are just the beginning to take take more care in what you eat the portions you eat today as our Lee says that’s make sure it is more call on your plate yeah I feel it is not so much on your plate that’s right but particularly if we can get rid of the fats sugars and starches we can begin to get with healthier diets we can begin to lose weight and of course there’s nothing more powerful than exercise yes that’s that’s what we can do to change the trajectory of our health and that’s something that we can do ourselves and I think that’s what it says right and not with the net and trying to work on men test for some time although most of the time people tend to think we’re just women oriented because we’ve had a lot of women be more engaged with our program we’ve done such things focusing on our fathers involvement with the children yeah and well as fathers taking care of themselves this year under the leadership of mr. MacFarlane and his company are we’ve instituted what is called at least starting to jump start brothers brothers two brothers two brothers talk very nice the partner haven’t ever bring together black males to come out and talk about issues of impacting them so that they can openly come in a private setting the females removed this is all males oh my hope you’re able to come together and concentrate on those issues and then for them to come up with a straw they will address down that’s going to be initiative I think just based upon our own weight loss activities that we’ve been focusing on the last couple years and having a physical movement taking place and also bringing them together to deal with those emotional issues are also impacting them because they do yes there were little bad thing about masculinity than males unnecessarily want to talk about it those but we know that those are issues that need to be addressed as well as making sure that we gainfully get their insight so one thing about any given program so try to implement something without getting a feedback more than likely your success rate is not going to be near that time but if once they have the buy-in and I think this was a good piece that George and his up team has come up with and he’s really green it again to talk about where we can cut them out and hopefully create nian groups that are going to be talking to each other men walking groups as well as means that currently come together in a different form and I believe mr. MacFarland we have a piece go on at one of the local churches so mr. McFarland has actually been going out and speaking about using technology oh this is you know not necessarily talked about this but to say grow with that you don’t have to talk openly about your issues but just think about let’s put it on your handheld device right on accessory and then to have those open conversation about how important and powerful that hand tool is that’s something of which he has been able to really talk to bring the audience into into agreement of bond on a regular basis and I think we are tempting and we are going to help you and expand that type of activity with males you know I’m interested very much in this because you know unfortunately within art within our own families we’ve experienced with our men please excuse me our men are not comfortable going to the doctor and they’re reluctant to go you know they just all do I have to do this it is a mindset and I think that that’s a cultural thing for us I really really do you know can you talk a little bit about that George you in advance what we just had a session with a group of men at a church in subway magnets on February 20 at February 18th and it was went very well attended approximately 40 men all men just a continuation of the Bible Bible study class an interesting thing was that many of these men talked about that personal experience really came from the heart and what we’re trying to do is have sessions where there’s a blend of the physician talking the nurse talking as well as men who have gone through the struggle oh yeah so this it’s a particularly poignant discussion when men talk about what has happened to them and sometimes men are reluctant to talk about the pain that they’ve gone through and about the depression that’s associated with diabetes yes and of course diabetes is so prevalent now identity and you talked about the health disparities certainly that is one of the big issues and and then that gets that that’s us until the whole discussion about cardiovascular health okay and so cardiovascular because most of us when when we leave here it would be related to the heart disease that’s unfortunately you’re right about a heart attack it would be one of these issues and these are things we can do something about and again there are these cross-cutting issues also when I say cross-cutting issues I’m talking about the range of issues that affect health so it’s not just depression by itself Spencer but there’s often diabetes and depression associated with diabetes but also pregnancy Polavaram and pregnancy all these things so and we would we like to think about the importance of all health and then injury of me and we sometimes don’t realize that oil is important to cardiovascular health it is directly related and related a friend of mine recently who was also a dentist talked about the importance of good dental health and how we hold our head whether or not we hold our head erect and and and how when out we don’t take care of good dental health it affects our total health so that’s what we have to really understand and I think that often say the most wonderful thing about this is good health is a way to save money I know that is about that but it is a reality that is a reality you know what before we conclude today’s show I want to make sure we talk about the african-american the program the community Davis coming up early can you talk about that please yes I can community it’s going to be Saturday April 2:15 every April 15th it’s going to be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 o’clock p.m. okay it’s East County community center and that’s located at 3 310 gateway heads Manor here in Silver Spring Maryland we’re going to offer our way of things from screenings food demonstration we’re going to have some fitness activities we’re going to throw a little bit of yoga in and Rihanna yes I have some fitness trainers available we’re going to have some things focus for our youth as far as hopefully if the weather holds up we understand things outside with you for sure we’re going to even talk about basic gardening with our younger that was new this year well you know this basically our second year ok I’ll ask you we didn’t do it as well but this year we’re going to do it again we’re going to have folks who come come in and I’m mister last year I think it was a little bit late Pinet piece having taken place but we are going to have it we think was I have some really good engagement with everyone today to come out and do some sampling we’re going to even have recipes so we plan to get out about some healthy good recipe not necessarily meat all the time but so a flat based type of recipe that we feel or color on your plate or on your plate we love some green some red some yellow yeah fresh you love that you know we will be stealing clothes the other neat thing but so we think it’s going to be a really a great grande we’re hoping that we will reach just as many as we met last year last year we were fortunate enough to have at least about 400 something like I remember the vision here I’m hoping we will have close to that five six hundred to come out and we’re also going to be supported by a number of exhibitors from the county as well as we hope parks and planning the rec centers hospitals and others of the local college this is where I should come out that’s going to order like I’m getting a log we’ve gotten a lot of calls from the different groups now who really have an interesting coming in coming out and joining us and we’d love to have everyone to come out and make that’d be a very grand day okay and you know what I’m glad that you said that is there a phone number and a website by chance the phone number which we call is our main number and that’s two four oh seven seven seven one eight three three okay and then if they’d like to envision us on the website we they can go to a HP Montgomery County dot-com I think that can correct now if a person if a citizen was doesn’t remember all that can they go to the actual HHS website and give access to it well they’ll be able to go into the XML health program all right that’s why we have to end up googling if even if you google aah come without our Oracle coming up and we will have everything possible on Facebook as well you our other little things we’re trying to acknowledge yeah I saw that week I saw that wait well it sounds like it’s going to be as usual I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the past couple years and was fortunate to be mistress of ceremonies last year and it was just such a phenomenal event and George this is part of your doing as well that’s right so this is kind of like the outcome of all the work that you do throughout the years what it sounds like yes everything wonderful if I could just mentioned there really created a really great relationship with a lot of our churches who allowing us to come in and do screenings and talk about the relationship between the faith of the church and the Wellness of the body that’s right so in integrating those two into a conversation and we’ve just really been able to reach a lot of people that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach had we not been able to bring into churches as part of our partnership tips and you talked early about the importance of partnerships we have such a tremendous resource in County partners who able to integrate with early and intake to take the health and wellness message in ways that we couldn’t do otherwise and we just think it’s such a unique and special opportunity well this has been a fantastic show in our Lee and George I thank you both for coming on today we’ll have to have you back because there’s so much that we still didn’t get a chance to cover thank you unfortunately that’s about all we have time for today and I want to thank our guests our leave Ollis from the african-american health program and George MacFarlane with McFarland & Associates I’m Deborah Milo please join us again next month for another edition of mosaic an african-american perspective til next time make it a great event [Music]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *