Premier Health Barbershop Partnership Aims to Improve Community Health

Initiative Seeks to Make Inroads on Various Health Concerns “One Head at a Time”

DAYTON, Ohio (March 14, 2019) – Premier Health has partnered with three barbershops in Montgomery County to increase awareness of chronic health conditions and promote healthy lifestyle choices within the African-American community. 

This new program will offer free health screenings and health fairs at Serenity Salon, Deeez Cuttz Barbershop, and Man Up Barber Shop on select Saturdays from March 6 through October 26. Voluntary health screenings will feature free blood pressure, height, and weight measurements, along with a body mass index calculation and fingerstick test for A1c. The health fairs will be even larger events that also offer total cholesterol, HDL, and blood glucose screenings. Additionally, events in September and October will have a limited number of free flu shots available. 

“Premier Health is pleased to team up with local barbers in launching this groundbreaking initiative as we strive to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “We have a long history of establishing strong partnerships with deeply rooted community groups and value how those partnerships enable us to connect with patients before they even walk through our doors. The barbers with whom we are partnering are just as passionate and enthusiastic as we are about this program, which will communicate the importance of prevention, early detection, and disease self-management, as well as encourage healthy living.”

Ray Lindsey, a barber at Serenity Shop in Trotwood, said he immediately jumped on board when asked about the program. “The barber shop is the staple of the community,” he said. “People come to us once a week like they might go to church; sometimes they’re there two, three times a week, whether it’s for a haircut or just because they want to be in the barber shop. With that being the case, I saw an opportunity to make the community better. It starts with us, then it trickles into our family, into our community. We should want to impact our community, and so with this initiative, I said, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’”

Participants in the program expressed early on that they were interested in not just opening the doors of their shops for health screenings, but in being active participants in the initiative. So the program was designed to include four weeks of training to equip the barbers to identify potential health concerns in their clients, educate them about healthy choices, and encourage them to seek health care.

"With a lot of this information being new to me, I can definitely pass it on to my clients,” said Joshua Harris of Man Up Barber Shop in Huber Heights. “Some of the info that we learned about coronary artery disease and things like that – it can be a silent killer, and we don’t know because some of these things don’t have symptoms. So it’s definitely important to get this information out to the community.”

Antoine Walker of Deeez Cuttz Barbershop in Trotwood explained how barbers develop strong bonds with their clients and are often seen as unofficial doctors, psychologists, or confidantes.

“Clients trust our judgment, and they value our opinion more than anybody else,” Walker said. “They trust us with their first haircut for their child; they trust us with their first haircut getting married; when it comes to them going to prom. So if Premier Health comes in with us, they’re basically going to trust our judgment when it comes to having you there. It’s almost like we’re co-signing what you’re doing.”

Walker has already begun implementing what he’s learned with his own family, asking his children questions about their health, teaching them not to dismiss signs and symptoms, and starting a family challenge to drink only water for 30 days.

“This initiative has not just brought awareness to myself. It has spilled over into my household,” he said. “I’m hoping that it’s going to have a domino effect; they’re going to embrace it themselves, and the people in the community around them will be affected. We say at our shop, ‘We’re changing the world one head at a time.’”

Barbershop Health Screening Schedule

Serenity Salon 
4628 Salem Ave, Trotwood, OH 45416
    April 6 – health screenings
    April 27 – health screenings
    July 13 – health screenings
    September 14 – health fair
    October 5 – health screenings

DCB (Deeez Cuttz Barbershop)
2576 Shiloh Springs, Trotwood, OH 45426
    March 16 – health screenings 
    April 13th – health screenings
    July 6th – health fair 
    September 28 – health screenings
    October 19 – health screenings

Man Up Barber Shop
4444 Powell Rd, Huber Heights, OH 45424
    March 23 – health screenings
    April 20 – health fair
    July 20 – health screenings
    September 21 – health screenings
    October 26 – health screenings

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