Black women have the highest mortality rates when it comes to a lot of diseases despite in some cases being less likely to have those diseases in the first place. Research shows stress and race play a key role in affecting outcomes. The Center for Closing the Health Gap is starting a movement to reduce those numbers.
After a year of research, focus groups and planning, the center will launch the Black Women's Health Movement Thursday. It focuses on four key pillars of health: mindful health, physical health, economic health and community health.
The movement will help women build networks to improve their health by providing links to resources and information, and ideally, making it easy.
"We're going to make it simple," says Renee Mahaffey Harris, president and CEO of The Health Gap. "We're going to have Facebook Lives. We're going to have blogs. We're going to have ways to share information via social media. Tell us your story; tell us your question; tell us your challenge; because I believe your challenge is someone else's challenge."
Mahaffey Harris says all women and girls can participate and signing up should be easily accomplished by texting a particular number and/or filing out a form online. That part is important because it's how The Health Gap plans to track the program's success. Further details on how the group plans to track those metrics is expected following the launch.
"We're building this network of relationships that can lead to how we together can move the needle on health disparities and move the needle on changing our lives at a simple level from, 'I'm too busy to exercise' or 'I'm too busy to make healthy meals every night.' You're going to learn from other people and they've done it."