"What do you mean, I had a stroke?!
Five years ago I had a stroke that left me down - but not out. Now I'm here to wage war on the "Silent Killer."
I am directing barbershops and hair salons in five communities how to use telehealth and community-owned broadband in a pilot project to attack hypertension (high blood pressure), the leading cause of strokes.
These shops will connect USB-blood pressure monitors to telehealth platforms via community networks to screen, educate, and motivate their customers. Hypertension strikes everywhere, but particularly among African Americans. Just 12% of the U.S. population, yet annually 100,000 die from strokes - twice as many as other ethnic groups combined. 40% of African American have hypertension.
In Cleveland, two Urban Kutz barbershops has screened customers' blood pressures for 12 years. Owner Waverly Willis is partnering with a local hospital in this pilot. "I find at least 90% of my customers have high blood pressure, and many don’t know about the dangers of hypertension, " says Willis.
These are the new community anchor institutions to drive both telehealth and broadband adoption . Willis explains, "Barbers and hairdressers are part-time marriage counselors, psychiatrists, spiritual advisers, and expert listeners. So many customers listen to our medical advice.”
This six-week pilot program consists of:
* Recruiting and training initial five barber shops and salons
* Providing free telehealth software for customers and doctors
* PR assistance to locally publicize the pilots
* Summary report on the pilots' results
* Conducting a PR campaign to launch national recruiting drive
* Writing and producing a How-To guide to support national effort
When the pilot concludes, these shops become a catalyst for expanding broadband throughout the surrounding neighborhoods, and residents can begin exploring various aspects of telehealth.
Help me make hypertension just a medical footnote.
For more details, call me at 510-387-4176, or craig at cjspeaks dot com.