Thursday, November 26, 2015

Velishea Billings (right), Minority Health Coalition Elkhart County Inc, checks Mike Tiggs' blood pressure during a health screening at Total Look barbershop in 2012. The Minority Health Coalition is conducting health screenings at three barbershops on Saturday. (J. Tyler Klassen/The Elkhart Truth, File)
Black Barbershop Health Initiative at three Elkhart locations Saturday

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 5:58 p.m.

ELKHART — Free blood pressure, glucose screenings and information about prostate health will be available at three Elkhart barbershops from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5.

The Perfect Touch, 1620 S. Nappanee St.; Total Look, 701 Oakland Ave.; and Lekres Hair Design and Barbershop, 131 S. Main St., will participate as part of the statewide fourth annual Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative.

“If it benefits the community, it benefits us as well,” said Mitchell Grant, owner of Total Look, which will host the initiative for a fourth year on Saturday.

Across the state, 50 barbershops in 13 cities will participate in the event coordinated by the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) in conjunction with local commissions and community partners.

According to ICSSBM, “Recent figures from the Indiana Department of Health show African-American men have the highest mortality rate of any group in Indiana. African American men also suffer from prostate cancer at a higher level in Indiana than any other racial or ethnic group.”

“The barbershop is the center of the community,” said Grant. “We try to keep a good neighborhood here.”

The Indiana Black Barbershop Heath Initiative is an attempt by ICSSBM to spread understanding of cardiovascular diseases among African American men through screening and education.