Barbershops And Healthcare: Daytona Beach Doctor Brings BP Screenings To Community

Person in a barbershop getting their blood pressure checked.Article posted by The Daytona Beach News-Journal on April 3, 2017.

DAYTONA BEACH – Barbershops and healthcare. Who would have figured the two would make a perfect community health match? Dr. Delicia Haynes of Daytona Beach, did, that’s who.

Dr. Haynes is founder and CEO of Family First Health Center, a membership-based practice for the entire family. And she seems to have a knack for thinking outside the medical box.

Dr. Haynes had her interest piqued when a friend suggested she listen to a Ted Talks program, “How Barbershops Keep Men Healthy.” The program made her think about one of her new patients – a well-dressed and groomed African-American man whose blood pressure unbeknownst to him was in stroke range.

“I had him in my exam room chair for several hours that day working to safely lower his blood pressure and then saw him every day until it was stable,” Dr. Haynes recalled. “That patient made me realize how effective screening could be if I partnered with the barber in whose chair men like him sit every two weeks.”

So, taking her cue from the Ted Talks program, Dr. Haynes began a community health initiative called, “Cut High Blood Pressure.”

“For many people, and especially for black men, the barber shop is the one place they can let their guard down and speak their mind without consequences,” she said. “Many people see their stylist every month, making the barber’s waiting area an excellent place to screen for chronic illness such as high blood pressure. People aren’t going to self-select to come to a doctor’s office.”

Dr. Haynes contacted area barbershops and salons and purchased electronic cuffs. She gave the shops a complimentary blood pressure cuff and a client rack with cards containing helpful tips, normal ranges and reduction methods and blood pressure logs for keeping track of blood pressure readings. She also helped empower the barbers and stylists with knowledge regarding blood pressure readings.

When clients are in the shop, they can have their blood pressure taken free of charge, and in a comfortable setting.

“We tried to make it really practical,” Dr. Haynes said. “The barbers can give them the card to offer suggestions.”

Dr. Haynes started with her stylist, Carmen Conoway of Studio 78, and placed her first blood pressure kit the end of January. She then placed five more around the Daytona Beach area.

Dr. Les Williams, a third-year resident and chief resident at Halifax Health Family and Sports Medicine Residency Program, jumped on board and has been assisting with the initiative.

Patricia Cadette, owner of Styles 101 Beauty on Orange Avenue in Daytona Beach, has personal reasons for supporting the program. She experienced a stroke at age 41, although she had been living a healthy lifestyle.

“I was a stroke victim survivor in ’09 and it’s important to me to make people aware. I was exercising and healthy, that was why I could fight it,” Cadette said. “I believe every business should offer this service to their clients.”

Her shop, which is a salon and barbershop combined, has reached the point of needing a separate chair specifically for taking blood pressure readings.

“I knew it’d be a success, but I didn’t know it’d be this much of a success,” she said.

“Now, even when people are not getting their hair done, they stop in to have their blood pressure taken. People are sitting and waiting.”

Cadette said a young man took his blood pressure in her shop, and it was so high, he had to go to the hospital.

“Even if that one life was saved, it was worth it,” she said.

Anthony Brooks, 40, started taking his blood pressure when the devise appeared at the barbershop, and now he checks it about three times a week.

“It brought health awareness to let me know where I stand,” he said.

Dr. Haynes hopes to continue to expand the program and help the community understand just how important blood pressure screening is to wellness.

“It’s really bringing it to the forefront. Out of sight, out of mind and it’s a silent killer. You could not really know you have that risk factor,” said Haynes. “It is to bring knowledge to get treated before something happens. We in the medical field have to get better at going to where the people are instead of expecting them to come to us.”

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal

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