Health and Human Services

Facet Co-Chairs: Barbara Suggs Mason, Terri Norman

Health and Human Services Facet is actively involved in the following National Initiatives

HeartLinks to Heart Health Signature Program: encourages Links members and our service communities to understand heart disease and the risk for heart attack and stroke. The Health and Human Services Facet has invited chapter families, friends, and recently our Umbrella Program school, Lincoln School, to walk 1 or 3 miles in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Over the course of three Heart Walks from 2013-2015, we attracted walkers and raised nearly $4,000.00 for the American Heart Association. In addition, Let’s Move Exercise Breaks are offered during chapter meetings to foster active exercise among chapter members.

National Mental Health Initiatives: promotes mental health education and helps eliminate the mental health stigma in the black community. Health and Human Services addressed the National Mental Health Initiative by hosting a workshop for adolescent girls at “It’s Just Us Girls Health and Wellness Conference” at Benedictine University in November 2015. An expert speaker was invited to facilitate the workshop entitled “Emotional Rollercoaster”. The conference served adolescent girls, ages 10-17, who are at risk or already involved in the juvenile justice system.

National HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Initiatives: supports HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C education among Links members and the communities we serve. Health and Human Services is addressed the National HIV/AIDS Initiative by inviting an expert speaker to facilitate a workshop entitled “HIV/AIDS: Safety First” for adolescent girls at “It’s Just Us Girls Health and Wellness Conference”.

National Oral Health Initiative: addresses the oral health educational needs of the adults and children we serve. Health and Human Services Facet ordered Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program toothbrush kits for distribution at Lincoln School. Toothbrush kits included oral health education, a toothbrush and toothpaste. 450 toothbrush kits were issued at Lincoln School.

The National Breast Health Initiative: encourages education of chapter members and the communities we serve about breast cancer, risks, and knowing one’s family history. The Health and Human Services Facet invited a Bright Pink Educational Ambassador to address our chapter in the October meeting. The Bright Pink Ambassador delivered a lecture on Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer with a question and answer session. Chapter education was demonstrated by responses on a post session survey. In addition, the chapter participated in a “Pin a Sister” activity. Each chapter member received 2 breast cancer awareness pins – one pin to wear for breast cancer awareness and one pin to share with another women to ensure each member is responsible for sharing breast cancer awareness education. The chapter will continue to donate to the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Research.

National Childhood Obesity Initiative: prevents childhood obesity among African-American children. Health and Human services plans to provide educational literature to Lincoln School families on the government initiative: “Choose MyPlate”. By distributing MyPlate literature families will receive updated information about healthy eating habits and meal planning.

Lincoln School Umbrella Program “Committing to Academic Excellence”: Vision Screen and Back to School Physicals were offered at Lincoln School’s Back to School Rally in August 2015. Health and Human Service Facet scheduled the Loyola’s Mobile Pediatric Screening Bus to be stationed at Lincoln School to assess the student’s physical and vision needs ensuring their readiness to learn this academic year.

We look forward to continuing to monitor programs and measure our progress which encourages healthy living among our community of service, our school partner, Lincoln School, and our chapter to ultimately reduce chronic health disparities facing Africans, African-Americans, and communities of African diaspora.