Health organizations put blood pressure cuffs in barbershops, salons and churches

"You never can be too certain of your health," said Darrin Hood after getting his haircut and his blood pressure checked.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hypertension is known as the silent killer and it's especially prevalent in Black communities, that's why local organizations are on a mission to get the message out - and they're doing it in an unconventional way.

At Ice Fade Barbershop, customers can come in, socialize and get a nice haircut. But they can also get check up on their health.

"What we do is put blood pressure cuffs in shops so it gives the clients an opportunity to check their blood pressure numbers," said Andrew Suggs, founder and CEO of Live Chair Health.

Targeting barbershops, salons and churches, Live Chair Health started in 2017 in Maryland with a goal of reducing health disparities in ethnic communities. Providence is the first on the West Coast to partner with Live Chair Health to bring the non-traditional health model to California.

"Unless our body really stops we don't go in," said Corey Thomas, a barber at Ice Fade City Barbershop. "And so, this right here actually helps everybody get in-tune with their blood pressure, helps them find out early detection on certain aspects of their life that they don't actually know about."

"Healthcare is all about trust," said Kenya Beckman, the chief philanthropy officer for Providence. "If the last year and a half taught us anything, it taught us that until you trust someone, until you trust a provider, you're not willing to be so vulnerable about your healthcare."

Thomas said he had a stroke and up until that point, he thought he was completely healthy. He said he hopes using the bond he has with his customers, he can help promote a healthier lifestyle.

"I know a lot about my customers," Thomas said. "This is where guys can talk abo anything. We talk about our health, our families, so they're real comfortable in here."

"You never can be too certain of your health," said Darrin Hood after getting his haircut and his blood pressure checked. "So, getting this blood pressure done this morning was a good thing. It relaxed my mind."

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