Black Barbershop Health Outreach Day

May 10, 2008 Black Barbershop Health Outreach Day

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. In Illinois alone, more than 778,000 adults have diagnosed diabetes. Over 400,000 are male, and 266,000 are Non-Hispanic Blacks. An additional 260,000 adults may have undiagnosed diabetes, and approximately 3 million Illinois residents are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes due to increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyle; and

WHEREAS,  type 2 diabetes can be prevented in those at high risk by changes in lifestyle with improved diet, ncreased physical activity, and modest weight loss; and

WHEREAS,  diabetes is a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications posing severe risks and loss for our families. These complications may be delayed, prevented or decreased in severity through goal-oriented management of blood glucose, lipids and blood pressure, receiving diabetes self-management education, ensuring proper food intake and physical activity to help achieve target values, maintaining a healthy body weight, and receiving recommended eye and foot examinations; and

WHEREAS,  strengthening public-health and the healthcare delivery system is critical to reducing the burden of diabetes, as well as improving access to medical care and education; and 

WHEREAS,  increasing community awareness of risk factors associated with the development of type 2 diabetes and symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes will increase the likelihood that individuals will seek and receive treatment and education before developing the disease or serious complications; and

WHEREAS,  on May 10, the Illinois Diabetes Prevention & Control Program and the Illinois Diabetes Commission will sponsor a Black Barbershop Health Outreach Day to screen at-risk African American men for diabetes and hypertension, at black-owned barbershops, which represent a cultural institution that regularly attracts large numbers of black men and provides an environment of trust, as well as an avenue to disseminate health education information:

THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim May 10, 2008 as BLACK BARBERSHOP HEALTH OUTREACH DAY in Illinois in support of this creative initiative to reach out to the community and raise awareness, and I encourage everyone who has a family history of diabetes to see a doctor or healthcare provider for more information.