Black History Month 2022 Theme Focuses On the Importance of African-Americans’ Overall Health

By  //  February 25, 2022

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important healthcare screenings help to prevent and treat certain conditions

DR. DAMANI HOSEY is a Health First Medical Group Family Physician. Dr. Hosey and several other African-American healthcare leaders are doing their part in noticing serious conditions within their community and making it their mission to encourage people to take ownership when it comes to their health. (Health First image)

This year’s theme focuses on the importance of African-Americans’ overall health as our nation devotes our attention to celebrating Black history.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – February is Black History Month in the U.S., which is an annual celebration of achievements, milestones and equality made by African Americans. We continue to recognize and highlight these efforts, which have been key and central roles in our history.

This year’s theme is Black Health and Wellness, and as your trusted Brevard County healthcare leader, we understand what that means. Every day, our associates strive to ensure we provide more awareness and promote good health and wellness for African Americans.

And an important step in doing so is communicating important healthcare screenings to prevent and treat certain conditions which have a significant impact.

“Screening tests are important in African Americans because oftentimes, we have some of the underlying conditions that put us a risk for certain diseases,” said Dr. Damani Hosey, a Health First Medical Group Family Physician.

“Preventive care is crucial to help catch these conditions early and get patients on the right track to live a healthier lifestyle.”

Dr. Hosey and several other African-American healthcare leaders are doing their part in noticing serious conditions within their community and making it their mission to encourage people to take ownership when it comes to their health.

Here are three common healthcare screenings Dr. Hosey recommends African Americans should consider and take seriously after a discussion with your doctor:

■ Cancer screening – It’s essential for everyone, and even more essential in the African-American community, to have cancer screenings. African American are more likely to have aggressive forms of them, more likely to have those cancers and unfortunately, more likely to die from those cancers. It’s the number one cause of death in America, but the African-American community experiences a greater impact.

Here’s a list of common cancers and the recommended age these screenings should start:

• Breast Cancer – Age 40 to 50
• Prostate Cancer – Age 40 to 45
• Colon Cancer – Age 45
• Lung Cancer – Age 55 for smokers, who are at increasing risk for lung cancer as they get older

Immunizations – Infectious diseases are a leading cause of disease and death in America, but also in the African-American community, and we’re seeing that with COVID-19. History highlights decades of medical mistrust dealing with vaccines and available medicine. It’s up to African-American physicians to help bridge that gap. Being fully immunized for COVID-19 is important, and we have a set of very safe and effective vaccines to do so.

■ Blood Pressure – Also known as hypertension, blood pressure is a silent killer among African-Americans. There are not many diseases, at least silent or asymptomatic ones, that cause more death and destruction than hypertension in African Americans. It can affect your heart, brain and kidneys, and it does that through its effect on the blood vessels of the body. It can lead to stroke or a heart attack.

Establish a Relationship With a Physician

The African-American community is more at risk compared to others, and that means screening should start much sooner. If you’re over the age of 18, you should be getting a blood pressure check at least once a year.

Getting the age-appropriate screenings for cancer (including mammograms), immunizations and blood pressure can help ensure diseases and serious conditions are caught and treated at their earliest stages.

However, the theme Black History and Wellness is more than screenings. It includes taking care of your emotional and mental health, too. Establishing an ongoing relationship with one of our primary care physicians can provide the care you need. n

Visit HF.org/find_physician to connect with a Health First doctor to find out more regarding your current health status and future goals.

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