A new way to access health information and increase health equity for men of color in the Madison area will be celebrating its one-year anniversary.

Since October of 2016, JP Hair Design has been home to the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association (RLWA)’s Men’s Health and Education Center(MHEC) where the west side barbershop has been working to make health education more accessible for men of color

The MHEC is the brainchild of Aaron Perry, the founder and CEO of Rebalanced Life Wellness Association, a Dane County organization that focuses on reducing health disparities. Perry is well-known in Madison and beyond as the first African-American diabetic Ironman triathlete. He started the non-profit in 2007 to improve the health status of black men.

Health education, wellness promotion, flu vaccinations and blood pressure checks for men of color and their families will be the focus of at the One Year Anniversary Celebration of the Men’s Health & Education Center that will be held Thursday, Oct. 4 at JP Hair Design Barbershop, 584 Grand Canyon Drive.

Approximately 800 men of color visit each week now benefit from daily education about Prevention and Maintenance of Chronic Health Conditions, Healthy Living, Nutrition and Meal Preparation.

Perry is excited about the opportunity to help men make significant health and lifestyle changes from a place they are familiar with. “JP’s is a place that these men are already visiting on a weekly basis. If we can provide them health information where they already are comfortable, these changes can last in the foreseeable future,” Perry says.

SSM Health the primary sponsor of this new initiative that’s funded through the organization’s “Helping Dane County to be Healthy” grant program.

“We’re trying to make a lasting impact when it comes to the community’s health,” says Damond Boatwright, SSM Health Regional President of Hospital Operations. “This is a good example of how we can help improve the quality of life for some area families for years to come.”

The community is invited to come out and celebrate the One-Year Anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at JP Hair Designs, 584 Grand Canyon Drive. Folks can have their blood pressure checked along with many other surprises.

For more information about the One-Year Anniversary event, contact Aaron Perry at 608-843-2291 or Diana Shinall at 608-446-8022.

Written by Madison365 staff