From Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention
February marks a month of celebrations as the nation acknowledges the accomplishments of African Americans during Black History Month. At the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention we are celebrating the month by highlighting such events on our Black History Month Events Calendar. If you havenâ€™t done so, please take a look at the events celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans in your area.
February is also a month of health – with American Heart Month and Wear Red Day on February 6th to bring awareness to heart disease, National Black HIV /AIDS Awareness Day on February 7th highlighting this yearâ€™s theme â€œI Am My Brotherâ€™s and Sisterâ€™s Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS!â€, and National Cancer Prevention Month.
As such, this month we are focusing on African American health and sharing the progress being made toward actualizing our vision of safe, healthy and resilient African American children, families, and communities. One such accomplishment is the decrease of cancer deaths among African American males. For 2015, the American Cancer Society (ACS) report shows a 22% decrease in cancer death over the past 20 years, equating to more than 1.5 million lives savedâ€”a positive trend seen for the past few years. With data examined across disease sites, age ranges, geographical locations and other factors, the American Cancer Society has been able to show important gains, including a 55% decrease in cancer death among black men in their 40s.
On November 8, 2014, we partnered with the State of the Cancer Union to present Empowering Communities: The Importance of Cancer Support and Long Term Survivorship, a panel discussion on cancer in the African American community.Â The event focused on promoting a sense of community among African American cancer patients and survivors by linking them to culturally competent support in community and academic medical center settings. It was also an opportunity to learn about the strides we are making in combatting cancer, be informed about preventative measures we can take to live a cancer-free lifestyle, and hear, first-hand, the triumphant stories of cancer survivors. To view a video from the event, please click here.
Lastly, February marks an important deadline for many of us. Through the Affordable Care Act, we all have an opportunity to make health a priority for us and our families. The Illinois African American Coalitionâ€™s In-Person Counselors have been working diligently to ensure that African Americans are covered through the Get Cover IL campaign. Please donâ€™t let the February 15th deadline pass without getting health insurance. Celebrate Black history Month by celebrating your health, to get covered today call us at 312-850-4444.
Malik S. Nevels, J.D.