Indiana hospital heads to the barbershop to trim cardiovascular disease among Black men

Indiana University Health. IU Health clinician checks older Black man's blood pressure at a barbershop event

In many communities, the barbershop is a Black community institution, where, beginning during the Jim Crow period of U.S. history, men and boys could gather legally for haircuts, but also to socialize, play chess and checkers, and discuss politics. Today, the barbershop continues to fill that role as an important social hub, and Indiana University Health sees it as an untapped venue for preserving health and wellness.

IU Health recently began a new community health initiative to provide prevention, education and early detection of cardiovascular disease — which includes free blood pressure screenings — in area barbershops. The purpose of the screenings are to treat people in neighborhoods where there is the greatest prevalence of hypertension. In the U.S., serious complications of heart disease are 23% higher among African Americans than whites. In addition to blood pressure checks, IU Health clinicians are providing cholesterol and diabetes screenings.


Resources on the Role of Hospitals