Changing the Story of Health in the African American Community

In Philadelphia, diabetes rates are higher than national and state levels, high blood pressure levels exceed both national and state benchmarks, and the rate of obesity is higher than national levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these circumstances, making it essential to inform and motivate individuals on how they can prioritize their own health and that of their loved ones.

The Our Community, Our Health program — launched by Independence Blue Cross (IBC) and The Philadelphia Tribune — has aimed to combat the disproportionate rates of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease experienced by African Americans and increase awareness of these health conditions. Available to all African American members of the Philadelphia community and its suburbs, free screenings are provided in partnership with Family Food, LLC — which offers nutritional counseling from registered dieticians in the local area tailored to individual nutritional needs and dietary goals.

“Especially during this pandemic, it is crucial that we come together and take extensive measures to save lives and create a healthy future for generations to come. We hope this campaign will show people that change is within their grasp, and that better health is possible.”

Gregory E. Deavens, Executive Vice President of IBC

The awareness campaign includes print and digital advertisements, as well as outreach efforts by African American leaders and influencers who share insightful information with their constituents, congregants, and followers in the local community. Additionally, individuals have been encouraged to seek out information regarding personalized health and nutrition screenings and services that help manage, or prevent in some cases, the health challenges they are currently facing. 

This public awareness campaign will continue to provide free health screenings to African Americans living in the Philadelphia region throughout this year, offering an opportunity to identify potential chronic health conditions.

For those interested, you can visit their website by clicking here, or by calling 1-800-203-8657. Participants can set up their counseling sessions via a phone call or Zoom session.

For additional information about the campaign, click here.