The Baltimore Sun Features KPMAS Barbershop Initiative


KPMAS Partners with West Baltimore Barbershop to Create a Healthier Community

The barbershop may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of getting a flu shot or a preventive health screening. However, what the barbershop means for many is a sense of community, camaraderie, and an extension of family. As The Baltimore Sun reported this week on their front page, the sense of community is exactly what Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States (KPMAS) wants to tap into in its new partnership with New Beginnings Unisex Barbershop in West Baltimore.

The KPMAS program provides no-cost flu shots, HIV tests, blood sugar screening, blood pressure tests, and more, all in the convenient and familiar setting of the barbershop. The program runs on Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As part of our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve, KPMAS piloted the program to address health disparities, such as high blood pressure, among African-Americans. According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of hypertension in African-Americans in the United States is among the highest in the world, with more than 40% of non-Hispanic African-American men and women with high blood pressure.

Nationwide, about 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 54% of adults with high blood pressure have their condition under control.

At Kaiser Permanente, we measure hypertension control by two main groups:

  1. All members ages 18-85
  2. African-American members ages 18-59

We minimize the risk for heart attack and stroke for all of these groups by controlling the blood pressure within national guidelines for more than 90 percent of members, while the rate nationwide for hypertension control is only 57%. In fact, we’re leading the nation in controlling high blood pressure (for two years in a row), according to the 2016 National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Quality Compass® Data.

Read more about the barbershop program in The Baltimore Sun, and feel free to share the article link and the attached flyer with your family and friends, and visit New Beginnings at 1047 Hollins St., Baltimore, MD, 21233 the next time you’re in the area.

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