Happy Juneteenth, everyone! Today, we come together to celebrate freedom, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the African American community. Juneteenth marks a pivotal moment in American history—the day when the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were informed of their freedom, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This day, June 19, 1865, symbolizes a new beginning and the relentless pursuit of justice and equality.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a time for reflection and celebration. It’s a day to honor the struggles and achievements of African Americans throughout history. It's a reminder of the resilience and strength that have characterized the African American experience and a call to action to continue fighting for equality and justice for all.

Montgomery County is pulling out all the stops to ensure this year's Juneteenth celebration is memorable and impactful. Whether you’re looking for family fun, cultural enrichment, or a sense of community, there's something for everyone. Learn more about Juneteenth events in Montgomery County here.

AAHP’s Brother 2 Brother Talk on Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 PM at the Plum Gar Community Recreation Center will address an essential topic for Black men: self-care and healthy habits. Self-care is crucial for Black men, who often face unique stressors and have higher risks for chronic disease compared to men of other races/ethnicities. This event will focus on how Black men can maintain and enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being through self-care and healthy habits. Attendees will learn about practical methods to integrate self-care practices into their daily lives. The class will also explore various stretching methods, joint mobility exercises, and self-myofascial release. Attendees will learn how to effectively use a foam roller and start physical workouts properly for optimal performance. This knowledge will empower and encourage attendees to prioritize their health and well-being.

View and download the flyer here.

In today's world, where we're always connected, the pressures of modern life can really affect our mental health, especially in the Black/African-American community. Although technology helps us stay in touch and respond to crises better, it also exposes us to upsetting images and can make us feel more alone. Recent survey data show that more than half of U.S. adults (58%) are lonely. Finding a sense of calm and focusing on well-being when you are having mental health concerns can be daunting in our fast-paced society. While Blacks/African Americans are 20% more likely to face mental health issues compared to the general population, they are less likely to seek treatment.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to highlight the importance of mental health. We can all observe Mental Health Awareness Month by encouraging people to educate themselves on how the stresses of modern life affect our mental well-being, developing skills for handling stress, and by advocating for better mental health support for ourselves and others. AAHP is committed to providing resources that meet the specific needs of Blacks/African Americans, who often encounter obstacles like stigma and a lack of culturally aware healthcare providers when seeking mental health care.

Access AAHP's mental health screening tool for a free, confidential mental health assessment here:
https://screening.hfihub.com/aahpmontgomery

AAHP's Executive Coalition meeting tonight will discuss mental health with a special presenter, Dr. Krystal Lewis, a licensed clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health. Please join at 6:45pm here:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82625031151?pwd=TTz2X7a9o9pBNQm1mpTaDeolKrx69x.1

See the flyer below for more details.

The Montgomery County Commission on Aging's Ambassador Program is currently hosting several presentations in April and May to inform seniors about available services. These events will serve as information hubs and provide a platform for seniors to voice their needs and interests.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich expressed his gratitude, stating, “I appreciate our ambassadors for helping us inform the community about essential County resources and for making sure their voices are heard. I thank the Commission on Aging for organizing these events and encourage residents to participate as we strive to support and empower our senior citizens."

The presentations will cover several topics, including:

Details on the events are as follows:

For additional information or inquiries about the Commission on Aging, interested parties are encouraged to contact the Aging and Disability Resource Unit at 240-777-3000.

April is National Minority Health Month!

This annual observance builds awareness about the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and encourages us to take action to end these inequities.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) designates a theme for National Minority Health Month. The theme for 2024, Be the Source for Better Health: Improving Health Outcomes Through Our Cultures, Communities, and Connections, is about understanding how the unique environments, cultures, histories, and circumstances (known as social determinants of health, or SDOH) of racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN populations impact their overall health.

Non-medical factors like poverty, limited access to health care, lack of education, and racism are all examples of SDOH that contribute to health disparities and inequities. SDOH impact nearly everyone in one way or another, and simply promoting healthy choices won’t eliminate health disparities. Considering the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age is fundamental to improving health and reducing longstanding disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN populations.

Visit the National Minority Health Month 2024 website to find resources, social media messages, graphics, and information on how to Be the Source for Better Health.

This April, the Brother 2 Brother (B2B) initiative is excited to offer two engaging events designed to empower and promote the health and well-being of Black men in Montgomery County. These events are tailored specifically to address the health gaps affecting Black men and provide valuable knowledge and support to improve their overall health.

On April 18th, the B2B Upper County event at the Germantown Park Community Center will highlight the importance of physical movement and how it contributes to overall health. Attendees can look forward to demonstrations of basic physical movements, stretches, and crucial pre- and post-workout drills. The event will also include a group discussion on the mental and physical benefits of exercise. The event will be hosted by Ramont Prather and will feature Tungi Kelley, a leader in Gaithersburg's fitness community, who will share insights on maintaining a healthy mindset and the importance of physical fitness in one's overall well-being.

AAHP’s Downtown Brother 2 Brother event at the Wheaton Community Center will focus on cancer prevention, management, and survival. With Jamal "DJ One Luv" Muhammad as host and Dr. Clinton Burnside from Howard University Cancer Center as a special guest, the event will highlight the latest in cancer research, prevention strategies, and management techniques. 

By attending, Black men in Montgomery County will gain knowledge on how to prevent chronic diseases, promote their own health and wellness, and engage in valuable discussions on health habits and actions for a healthier lifestyle. RSVP here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/b2bregister

Download the flyer for the April 18 Brother 2 Brother event (below) here.

Download the flyer for the April 18 Brother 2 Brother event (below) here.

AAHP proudly announces the launch of its comprehensive Alzheimer’s Awareness Toolkit, designed to enlighten, educate, and empower our senior community, as well as their caregivers, on the nuances of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is not just a condition of memory loss; it’s a debilitating ailment that impacts millions of lives, especially within the Black/African American community, which faces a higher incidence rate compared to others. The AAHP Alzheimer’s Awareness Toolkit serves as a crucial resource in demystifying the disease, offering a wealth of information from understanding the early signs and symptoms to managing the progressive stages of Alzheimer's.

View/Download AAHP’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Toolkit here.

The rate of colorectal cancer is rising among young adults, and because it’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, let’s talk about it! While the rates for many cancers are on the decline, the rate of colorectal cancer has increased by 2% per year for people under the age of 50 in the past 20 years. While experts aren’t sure why so many more young people get colorectal cancer, they suspect changing dietary habits, reduced exercise levels, and the rise in obesity contribute to this troubling trend. Given these circumstances, it’s critical for younger adults to understand colon cancer prevention and the importance of early detection.

The increasing rate of colorectal cancer among younger adults has prompted health experts to now recommend colorectal cancer screenings (colonoscopies) to start at age 45 for individuals with an average risk profile, decreasing from the former benchmark of age 50. In addition to screening, taking preventive measures is also important. These steps include embracing a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; maintaining a healthy weight; staying active; and steering clear of smoking and excessive drinking. Young people should also know and look out for colorectal cancer symptoms, like rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, and ongoing changes in bowel habits. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please don’t brush it off or procrastinate. See your doctor ASAP because early detection can be lifesaving.

Learn about cancer prevention by joining AAHP’s Cancer Education chat on Fridays at 1:30pm. Register/join here: www.aahpmoco.org/canceredu

Sources:

www.cancer.gov

www.yalemedicine.org

www.cancer.org

AAHP and its community partners invite all Montgomery County friends, families, and neighbors to join us for the 10th Annual AAHP Community Day! This milestone celebration will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2024, from 9:30 am to 2 pm at the Montgomery College Germantown campus.  AAHP Community Day 2024  is free and open to the public. Mark your calendars, and register here.

AAHP Community Day 2024 will kick off at 8:00 am with our invigorating walk/run/bike event. In line with the 2024 theme, “Celebrating Our Thriving Community and Your Health,” AAHP Community Day 2024 will also feature an interactive discussion on security, change, and wellness with youth, families, and the community. Participants will enjoy an exciting array of activities, including interactive workshops, dynamic demonstrations, and community exercise sessions that will include heart-pumping Zumba and lively line dancing. 

Don’t miss your opportunity to fellowship with your community and celebrate health at this very special 10th Annual AAHP Community Day 2024. Space is limited so register early here.

View/download the flyer here.

The African American Health Program is excited to present the Brother 2 Brother (B2B) Initiative, a series of talks hosted by Jamal "DJ One Luv" Muhammad, a multi-talented DJ, promoter, talk show host, and visual artist. An initiative focused on improving the health and wellness of Black men in Montgomery County, B2B provides monthly group discussions aimed at Black men to help them understand their health better. These meetings aren't just talks; they're steps toward empowerment. By educating participants on how they can prevent chronic diseases and promote their own health and wellness, the B2B Initiative will address the significant health gaps affecting Black men. The program offers sessions in two locations each month, one uptown and one downtown, on two different dates, making it accessible to more people.

Why focus on Black men? Because Black men have the lowest life expectancy and face more health issues compared to other demographics. Sadly, their health has often been overlooked by society and sometimes by Black men as well. B2B's goal is to change this by giving Black men the knowledge and support they need to improve their health.

AAHP's Brother 2 Brother talks will feature guest speakers such as Dr. Jason Joubert, who has dedicated his life to promoting health and fitness. Dr. Joubert began his career as a personal trainer and went on to specialize in rehabilitation, earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Howard University in 2019. He combines his extensive knowledge and passion to deliver personalized care, focusing on pain management, functional restoration, and preventive health strategies for his patients.

The African American Health Program is funded and administered by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and implemented by McFarland & Associates, Inc.
1401 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(240) 777-1833
info@aahpmontgomerycounty.org
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