What Is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)? Know the Signs and Reduce Your Risk

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)? Know the Signs and Reduce Your Risk

Dr. Richard E. Browne, MD, FACC*

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.? Approximately 650,000 people die from it every year.1 February is Heart Health Month in the U.S. and I’d like to use this as an opportunity to highlight the importance of prevention and proper screening in the fight against heart disease.

There are several risk factors that put people at risk of heart disease, including2:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet

African Americans are more likely to have one or more of these risk factors – for example, high blood pressure affects more than 40% of African Americans, which is 10-12% higher than for non-Hispanic white or Mexican Americans. This in turn means that African Americans are disproportionately affected by heart disease. While this increased risk has been known about for a long time, the amount of heart disease in the African American community remains high. It is one of the key reasons for life expectancy being lower in African Americans than in white Americans.3

The Heart/Leg Connection

Heart disease is related to a process called atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup, which makes it hard for blood to flow.4 This condition also causes Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which is a common type of vascular disease that occurs when narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs, most often the legs.2 Many patients may not know they have PAD.2 Despite affecting nearly 20 million Americans, only approximately 8.5 million are diagnosed with it.5,6 PAD can put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, and lead to complications including death and limb amputation.2,3 This is why it is crucial for patients to be screened for PAD.

Most of the risk factors I mentioned above are also linked to PAD.2 These risk factors are disproportionately seen in African Americans and as a result, African Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to have PAD.3, 7 While the outcomes of PAD can be serious, early detection and getting the right care can improve those outcomes.2

The signs and symptoms of PAD can vary, but common symptoms to look out for include2:

  • Pain while walking
  • Leg pain
  • Poor nail growth
  • Fatigue in the legs
  • Skin problems or discoloration on your legs and feet
  • Wounds to the legs and feet that are slow to heal

However, some patients may have the disease and not experience any symptoms, which is why it’s so important to be screened for PAD if you’re at risk of the disease.2 While leg pain (also known as claudication) is known to be the classic symptom of PAD, 4 in 10 people with the disease don’t experience that.8 African Americans have a higher prevalence of asymptomatic PAD, meaning that even though they may have the disease, they may not experience leg pain or other symptoms.6 Without these warning signs, there is a greater risk of patients experiencing a delay in receiving the care they need and continuing to carry out behaviors that put them at a higher risk for PAD, such as smoking and lack of exercise.2

Managing PAD

In my experience, most people don’t understand how easy the process of screening for PAD is. Even though some people may not experience symptoms, your doctor can identify signs of PAD through a physical exam, such as a weak or absent pulse below a narrowed area of your artery, listening for “whooshing” sounds over arteries by using a stethoscope, or looking at wounds to see if there is evidence of poor healing in areas where your blood flow is restricted. Your doctor can also use a simple screening test called the ankle-brachial index (ABI). This test involves taking your socks off so your doctor can examine your legs and feet, and then taking your blood pressure in your arm and both ankles. Talking to your doctor about whether you should get screened for PAD, or if anyone in your family has or has ever had PAD, is a great first step towards managing the disease. Importantly, your doctor can also help you identify medications and healthy lifestyle choices that may help reduce your risk of complications or PAD.

As a cardiologist who has been in the field for more than 20 years, I believe that it is crucial for patients and physicians to have an ongoing dialogue, working together to manage health holistically and helping to prevent diseases such as PAD by identifying the signs and symptoms early and by screening appropriate patients. There are several ways to reduce your risk of the disease. These include exercise, quitting smoking, a healthy diet, and taking good care of your feet. However, every patient is different, which is why it’s so important to work with your doctor to identify prevention strategies that work best for you.

This month, I encourage you to learn more about the signs and symptoms of PAD and talk to your doctor about screening and prevention.

*Richard Browne, MD, is a cardiologist with more than 20 years of experience. He graduated with honors from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his internship and medical residency at Harvard Medical School. He then did a cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia, where he served as the chief cardiology fellow. Currently, Dr. Browne practices at Pure Cardiology in Charlotte, NC, and is a council member for the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. This article was developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in collaboration with Dr. Browne. He is a paid consultant for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

 

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Facts. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Peripheral Artery Disease. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/peripheral-artery-disease. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  3. Carnethon MR, Pu J, Howard G, et al. A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Cardiovascular Health in African Americans. Available at: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000534. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  4. American Heart Association. What is Cardiovascular Disease? Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  5. Racial Disparities in Vascular Care. Available at: https://cardiovascularcoalition.com/our-patients/racial-disparities-in-vascular-care/. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/PAD.htm. Accessed January 19, 2021.
  7. Ghidei W, Collins TC. African Americans and Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Review Article. International Scholarly Research Notices. 2012;165653:1-9.
  8. Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Associationexternal icon. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139-e596.
PBS and WETA Announce THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG

PBS and WETA Announce THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG

PBS and WETA Announce New Documentary Series from Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG to Air February 16 and 17, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

Two-part seriesreveals the broad history and culture of the Black church and explores African American faith communities on the frontlines of hope and change

Featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rev. Al Sharpton, Yolanda Adams, Rev. William Barber II, BeBe Winans, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and more

 

(REVISED JANUARY 26, 2021): FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (JULY 28, 2020): Today at the Virtual PBS Press Tour, PBS and WETA announced THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG will premiere February 16 and 17, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings). This moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage.

 

Renowned participants in the series include media executive and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey; singer, songwriter, producer and philanthropist John Legend; singer and actress Jennifer Hudson; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church; gospel legends Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar and BeBe Winans; civil rights leaders Rev.Al Sharpton and Rev. William Barber II;scholar Cornel West;and many more. Through their interviews, viewers will be transported by the songs that speak to one’s soul, by preaching styles that have moved congregations and a nation, and by beliefs and actions that drew African Americans from the violent margins of society to the front lines of change.

 

For many, the Black church is their house of worship. For some, it is an engine for social justice. For others, it is a place of transcendent cultural gifts exported to the world, from the soulful voices of preachers and congregants, to the sublime sounds of gospel music. For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., going to church in America also was “the most segregated hour” of the week. THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG will explore the changing nature of worship spaces and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft and church pews. The churches are also a world within a world, where Black Americans could be themselves; and the epicenter of the freedom struggle that revolutionized the United States across slavery and abolition, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Great Migration, and the civil rights movement.

 

“Our series is a riveting and systematic exploration of the myriad ways in which African Americans have worshipped God in their own images, and continue to do so today, from the plantation and prayer houses, to camp meetings and store-front structures, to mosques and mega-churches,” says Dr. Gates. “This is the story and song our ancestors bequeathed to us, and it comes at a time in our country when the very things they struggled and died for — faith and freedom, justice and equality, democracy and grace — all are on the line. No social institution in the Black community is more central and important than the Black church.”

 

“We are proud to join forces again with PBS, CPB and our longtime production partner Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, Jr., to share this illuminating new series with the public,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA. “Skip beautifully weaves meaningful history and cultural stories that illustrate the complex social fabric of our uniquely American experience.”

 

“Representing the full range of the American experience is core to our mission and work in public television,” said Paula Kerger, President & CEO of PBS. “PBS is thrilled to partner with WETA, CPB and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to present this series, which sheds important light on the central role that faith has played and continues to play in the African American community. Once again, Dr. Gates has created an extraordinary film which deepens understanding, fosters conversation and so beautifully connects our country’s past to our present.”

 

“We are honored that for many years Skip Gates has partnered with WETA and PBS to present his remarkable documentaries that reinforce public media’s commitment to serving diverse audiences and reflecting the people of our nation,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “CPB is pleased to be part of this powerful documentary that beautifully illustrates the preeminent role church, faith and spirituality have played in shaping the Black American experience.”

 

Throughout the series, viewers will witness much of this world expand out to politics, culture and education, as churches are born, denominations are fractured, and leaders are made and critiqued in their quest to bring the Word to the world and the world to a higher ground. At once a liberating and traditional center of power, the church in Gates’s telling is at a crossroads today, torn between social issues and justice, human rights and inequality, secular and spiritual trends, the past and future, prompting many to wonder whether the churches of their parents and grandparents have become closed off to the most important issues of the time. The Black church has taken people from the valley to “the mountaintop” and, as some of the most influential Black voices today reflect on the meaning of the church in their lives and to the country, the series will contemplate where the “promised land” is for this generation and the next.

 

PART ONE – Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings)

Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion, beginning with the

trans-Atlantic slave trade and the extraordinary ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted their faith practices under the brutal realities of human bondage. As an awakening of Protestant Christianity spread in the 18th century, Black Americans embraced a vision of a liberating God and Black churches that would become bedrock institutions in the long struggle to dismantle slavery, culminating in the Civil War. With Emancipation and Reconstruction, independent Black churches flourished and helped the formerly enslaved navigate a perilous freedom by fulfilling the social, educational, financial, cultural and political needs of​ African Americans. Dr. Gates speaks with noted scholars, public figures and religious leaders about faith and the struggle for rights in the midst of growing racial violence that would continue well into the 20th century. Key figures include founder Richard Allen and preacher Jarena Lee of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; abolitionist Frederick Douglass; influential religious figure Henry McNeal Turner; and pioneers Virginia Broughton and Nannie Helen Burroughs of the National Baptist Convention.

 

PART TWO – Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings)

The series continues with the Black church expanding its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the exodus out of the Jim Crow South during the Great Migration to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ‘60s. After the violent loss of leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., many Black churches found themselves at a crossroads — struggling to remain relevant in an era of increasing secularization while reckoning with urgent social and cultural issues within their congregations and broader communities. The series brings the story of the Black Church up to the present — a time of renewed struggle for racial justice in America. Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. interviews prominent figures across African American society, including celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson, and John Legend; Bishops Michael Curry, Yvette Flunder and Vashti Murphy McKenzie; Rev. William Barber, and more.

 

With THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG, Gates continues a tradition of producing sophisticated documentary films for public media about the African and African American experience for a broad audience, including the Emmy Award-winning documentary THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, as well as the documentaries AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES,BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE,AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS and RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR.

THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Get Lifted. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee is executive producer. John F. Wilson is executive producer in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Stacey L. Holman is the series producer and director. Christopher Bryson and Shayla Harris are producer/directors. Deborah C. Porfido is the supervising producer. Kevin Burke is producer. Robert L. Yacyshyn is the line producer. Christine Fall is the archival producer. Major corporate support for THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG is provided by Johnson & Johnson. Major support is also provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc., Ford Foundation, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.

 

About WETA

WETA is the leading public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on television, radio and digital. WETA Washington, D.C., is the second largest producing-station of new content for public television in the United States, with productions and co-productions including PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK, THE KENNEDY CENTER MARK TWAIN PRIZE, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG, LATINO AMERICANS and ASIAN AMERICANS; and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. (Seasons 3-6), BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE and RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org. On social media, visit www.facebook.com/wetatvfm on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.

 

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 126 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

 

About McGee Media

McGee Media was founded by award-winning filmmaker Dyllan McGee to produce documentary content that is innovative, compelling, and immersive. Every story is born from a vision of a more fair and equitable world. Whether it is the sweeping history of the African-American experience, or the intimate personal stories of the hundreds of women who made up the feminist movement, McGee Media uses television, film, and digital media in radical new ways to inform and inspire. Recent projects include FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Seasons 3-6 (PBS), RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR (PBS), AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS (PBS), BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE (PBS), MAKERS (Verizon Media), ONCE & FOR ALL (AOL), FIRST IN HUMAN (Discovery), and RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN (Discovery).

 

About Inkwell Media

Inkwell Media was founded by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to produce sophisticated documentary films about the African and African-American experience for a broad audience. The six-part PBS documentary series THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS (2013) earned the 2013 Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a News and Documentary Emmy Award and a NAACP Image Award. Inkwell Films has co-produced FINDING YOUR ROOTS (Seasons 1-6), RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR (2019), AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS (2017), BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE (2016), BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA (2011), FACES OF AMERICA (2010), LOOKING FOR LINCOLN (2009), AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 (2008), OPRAH’S ROOTS (2007) and AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (2006).

PRESS CONTACT:

blackchurch@id-pr.com

Sara Serlen, Tel.: 212-774-6148

Lauren Felsenstein, Tel.: 212-774-6162

Stephanie Kennard, PBS, Tel.: 571-319-7478

The Balm In Gilead To Honor 2020 Best Practice Award Winners During Virtual Conference

The Balm In Gilead To Honor 2020 Best Practice Award Winners During Virtual Conference

Contacts:

Alysia Gradney
The Gudz
Principal
832-263-1714
alysia@thegudz.com

The Balm In Gilead To Honor 2020 Best Practice Award Winners During Virtual Conference

Honorees to Be Celebrated in Virtual Ceremony During Healthy Churches 2030 National Conference November 16 – 19, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (October 16, 2020) – The Balm In Gilead, Inc. has announced category winners for the 2020 Best Practice Health Ministry Awards. Recipients will be honored during the star-studded Best Practice Health Ministry Award virtual ceremony Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 7 pm ET; held during the Healthy Churches 2030 National Conference. The Best Practice Health Ministry Awards recognizes extraordinary faith-based partnerships, health outreach, and services supporting African American communities within rural and urban areas. Grammy award-winning artist, vocalist, songwriter, musician, producer, and arranger, Fred Hammond, will end the evening with a concert.

“The Best Practice Award is a celebratory representation of a collective effort to confront health disparities and create prevention models within the Black community,” said Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, Founder, and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc. “In harmony with this year’s theme, our awardees have worked within their communities to implement strategies that build the Black health Agenda for the new decade. We are proud to honor the impact of each awardee’s effort to eliminate health disparities within the African American community, collectively.”

The Balm In Gilead will present Best Practice Awards to nine congregational-based health ministries and organizations from across the United States. The 2020 Best Practice Award recipients include:

  • Greater Mount Nebo A.M.E. Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Dr. Jonathan L. Weaver, Pastor)
  • New Hope AME Zion Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Eugene Branham, Pastor)
  • Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Thomas Baker, Pastor)
  • Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Dr. Harry L. White Jr., Pastor)
  • Carter Temple C.M.E. Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Dr. Joseph B. Gordon, Pastor)
  • Greater Love Tabernacle, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Bishop William E. Dickerson II, Pastor)
  • Friendship Baptist Church, Best Practice Award for Excellence in Health Outreach (Rev. Dr. Norwood G. Carson, Pastor)
  • Ascender Films Inc., Best Practice Special Recognition Award (Paul Grant, Senior Producer & Chief Creative Officer)
  • National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), Best Practice Award for Excellence in Addressing Health Equity (Dr. Joia Crear Perry, Founder, and President)

 

The Healthy Churches 2030 National Conference speaker roster includes nationally renowned faith and public health leaders; such as leader in biopharmaceuticals Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall; Mt. Ennon Baptist Church senior pastor Rev. Dr. Delman L. Coates; mental health advocate Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child; Mayo Clinic College of Medicine professor Dr. LaPrincess C. Brewer, MPH; Grammy award-winning gospel artist Fred Hammond; and many more.

The upcoming Healthy Churches 2030 National Conference also features content from elite sponsors. Diamond sponsors AARP, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silver sponsors Astellas Pharma Inc., Pfizer Rare Disease, Roche, and Bronze sponsor Mayo Clinic.

Best Practice Health Ministry Award virtual ceremony and concert is included with each annual conference registration. Healthy Churches 2030 National Conference offers group registration at $25 per person for groups of twenty or more and $75 for individuals. Registration for this year’s virtual conference closes November 9, 2020. To register and learn more about the conference, visit healthychurches2030.org.

About Healthy Churches Conference 2030

Healthy Churches 2030 (HC2030) is an annual conference designed to bridge faith and public health and address health disparities among African American communities. Healthy Churches 2030 Conference is the only nationally recognized conference that provides vital learnings and capacity development through training on healthcare models, nutrition, funding opportunities, and evaluation presented by leaders in scientific research, clinicians skilled in nutritional medicine, including experts on food and healthcare innovation. To learn more, visit healthychurches2030conference.org.

About The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

Founded in 1989, The Balm In Gilead, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, has developed an international reputation for providing an insightful understanding of religious cultures, values, and extraordinary abilities to build strong, trusted partnerships with faith communities throughout the world. By working with national, regional, and local faith-based partners, we establish grass-roots health delivery systems and increase the number of individuals who have the knowledge to lead in areas of health promotion, disease prevention, screening, and disease management. To learn more, visit balmingilead.org.

Empowering Faith Communities to Champion Black Health Equity Amid COVID-19

Empowering Faith Communities to Champion Black Health Equity Amid COVID-19

Strengthen the capacity of faith communities to understand the intersection of health, religion, race, and politics

 

RICHMOND, Va. (October 8, 2020) – The Balm In Gilead Inc. is a leader in bringing public health and faith communities together to strategically address health disparities in the African American community. The Balm In Gilead Inc. will use its Annual Healthy Churches 2030 Conference (HC2030) to answer this call to action by bridging faith and healthcare to breakdown health disparities in the Black community. This one-of-a-kind virtual conference will equip African American faith-based institutions and public health professionals with the tools to confront racial inequities in healthcare and wellness programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of building congregational health ministries within African American communities to offer rapid response to future public health crises. Healthy Churches 2030 Conference will examine the intersection and impact of health, religion, race, and politics on the lives of Black Americans.

Addressing the alarming rates of preexisting health conditions and lack of access to qualified medical professionals in African American comminutes, the conference will emphasize the urgent need to create locally accessible health and wellness programs. “The Black Health Agenda for the New Decade: The Intersection of Health, Religion, Race, and Politics,” the theme for this year’s conference, embodies the immediate need to confront health disparities and create prevention models within the Black community.

Participants will hear directly from some of the nation’s top public health officials, medical professionals, and faith leaders. This year’s Healthy Churches 2030 Conference speakers include:

      • Freda Lewis-Hall, Ph.D.; Clinician, Educator, Researcher, and Leader in Biopharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Industries
      • Kafui Dzirasa, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor and Resident Physician, Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Neuroengineering, Duke University Medical Center
      • Dr. Delman L. Coates, Ph.D.; Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD
      • Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of New Testament at Boston University School of Theology
      • LaPrincess C. Brewer, MPH; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester MN
      • Sam Dagogo-Jack, D.Sc.; Professor of Medicine & Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
      • Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, FACC, FAHA, FNLA, FASCP; Professor of Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine
      • Fred Hammond; Grammy award-winning artist, vocalist, songwriter, musician, producer, and arranger.

Speakers and presenters will share strategies, resources, and tools to strengthen the capacity of congregational health ministries across the United States to increase health prevention, disease management, and participation in clinical trials. “By building a nationwide network of health ministries within African American churches, The Balm In Gilead is actively diversifying the healthcare delivery model by transforming churches into local health hubs,” said Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

The upcoming Healthy Churches 2030 Conference also features content from our elite sponsors. Diamond sponsors AARP, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silver sponsors Astellas Pharma Inc., Pfizer Rare Disease, Roche, and Bronze sponsor Mayo Clinic.

This year, the annual conference offers group registration at $25 per person for groups of twenty or more and $75 for individuals. Registration for this year’s virtual conference closes November 6, 2020. To register and learn more about the conference, visit healthychurches2030.org.

###

About Healthy Churches Conference 2030

Healthy Churches 2030 (HC2030) is an annual conference designed to bridge faith and public health and address health disparities among African American communities. Healthy Churches 2030 Conference is the only nationally recognized conference that provides vital learnings and capacity development through training on healthcare models, nutrition, funding opportunities, and evaluation presented by leaders in scientific research, clinicians skilled in nutritional medicine, including experts on food and healthcare innovation. To learn more, visit healthychurches2030conference.org.

About The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

Founded in 1989, The Balm In Gilead, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, has developed an international reputation for providing an insightful understanding of religious cultures, values, and extraordinary abilities to build strong, trusted partnerships with faith communities throughout the world. By working with national, regional, and local faith-based partners, we establish grass-roots health delivery systems and increase the number of individuals who have the knowledge to lead in areas of health promotion, disease prevention, screening, and disease management. To learn more, visit balmingilead.org.

Learn about a rare, inherited condition

Learn about a rare, inherited condition

Hereditary ATTR (hATTR) amyloidosis is a rare, genetic condition that affects an estimated 50,000 people worldwide. It is caused by a gene change, or mutation, that affects the function of a protein called transthyretin (TTR). In hATTR amyloidosis, the TTR gene mutation causes the protein to take on an abnormal shape and misfold, which causes the protein to build up in various parts of the body, including the nerves, heart, and digestive system. This build-up of proteins, also called amyloid deposits, causes the symptoms of hATTR amyloidosis.

Although anyone can be at risk for this disease, it is more common in certain ethnicities, including people of African, Irish, and Portuguese descent. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 25 (4%) African Americans have a certain TTR gene mutation associated with hATTR amyloidosis.

Symptoms of hATTR amyloidosis can be very different from person to person and can affect some parts of the body more than others. Some symptoms a person with hATTR amyloidosis may experience include:

  • Tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Weakness
  • Burning pain
  • Loss of sensitivity to temperature

This is not a complete list of symptoms that may be experienced in patients with hATTR amyloidosis. Each patient has a different experience and you may not experience all of these symptoms, or you may not experience them at the same time.

hATTR amyloidosis is passed down through family members. If one parent has hATTR amyloidosis, each child will have a 50% chance of inheriting a mutation that may cause this condition. A family member may inherit the TTR gene mutation, but that does not necessarily mean he or she will develop hATTR amyloidosis.

Educating yourself and your loved ones about the symptoms of this condition can help you identify them if they occur. Symptoms may worsen over time, so it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the right plan of action. This may include referring you to a doctor with more experience with hATTR amyloidosis or recommending you work with a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can help you learn more about the genetic testing process and if a genetic test may be right for you.

You and your family can also learn more about hATTR amyloidosis from Alnylam Patient Education Liaisons (PELs), who are professionals with backgrounds in nursing or genetic counseling and who can answer questions and provide helpful resources about this condition.

Visit www.hATTRbridge.com for more information about hATTR amyloidosis and visit www.hATTRPEL.com to connect with a PEL.

This message is sponsored and provided by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Alnylam logo

 

 

The Bridge is a registered trademark of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

© 2020 Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved. NP-USA-00154

SDFI Announces Distance Learning Classes and Virtual Town Hall

SDFI Announces Distance Learning Classes and Virtual Town Hall

“Diabetes Prevention & You” Town Hall

African Americans represent roughly 13% of the United States population, but account for nearly 85% of the number of persons who have died from COVID-19. This is a startling statistic that indicates the devastating impact of health disparities in chronic health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, disproportionately affecting African Americans and communities of color.

More than 84 million adults in the United States live with prediabetes, and another 30 million already have Type 2 diabetes. African Americans are twice as likely to die from diabetes than whites, only adding to the many burdens Black communities face in America.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that individuals most at risk for Type 2 diabetes find realistic ways to help prevent this manageable condition. The Southeast Diabetes Faith Initiative (SDFI), a program of The Balm In Gilead, is ready to help families and the faith community take a stand and fight back against diabetes by providing faith-based diabetes prevention programs.

To better serve our communities and increase access to this evidence-based lifestyle change program that is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, SDFI is going virtual!

Beginning this Fall, eligible persons will be able to join one of our distance learning classes. Our experienced lifestyle coaches will be there to guide and support you along this amazing journey to a healthier YOU! Offering culturally tailored, interactive sessions, SDFI does not just provide you with information, but surrounds you with the emotional, spiritual, and mental support you need. Get access to recipes, fitness programs, food journals, and other tools to help you along the way.

Mark your calendar and make plans now to join The Balm In Gilead’s first Southeast Diabetes Faith Initiative “Diabetes Prevention & You” Town Hall on October 8, 2020. During the town hall, we will have an in-depth conversation about Type 2 diabetes, COVID-19, and how we are making SDFI work for our community.

For providers and healthcare professionals, connect with us to explore opportunities to sign up to become a SDFI Healthcare Partner. Our state managers can work with you and your clients to set up informational sessions to raise awareness about the need to increase screening, testing, and referral opportunities for vulnerable populations. Sign up today to receive more information.