Preventable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension (HTN), hypercholesterolemia, and obesity, are going unprevented, undiagnosed, and untreated in African Americans in Norfolk with the St. Paul’s public housing community (PHC) in urban Norfolk as the epicenter. Residents in these pockets of Norfolk are more than 90% African Americans, with an increased incidence of CVD risk factors compared to African Americans in other parts of Virginia and the U.S. Among the common challenges of CVD prevention and treatment, the St. Paul's PHC faces unique challenges; such as as lack of
- health education about behaviors to prevent CVD among residents
- health care access
- trust between residents and health care providers.
The #757 WeCare Clinic initiative hopes to address these barrires by creating a pop-up clinic - #757 WeCare Clinic - located in the the community center within the PHCs of Norfolk. This clinic aims to improve access to care by:
- providing free screenings and treatment of CVD risk factors
- providing culturally competent behavioral health CVD risk factor education
- offering management of CVD risk factors via in-person and virtual health visits with the WeCare interprofessional team.
This initiative will also lead the development of a team of volunteer educators who are pre-med students and predominantly African Americans and to encourage these students to enroll in local graduate health sciences programs. This team will serve as a pre-med mentoring program formed and led by EVMS medical students with the main objective to recruit students for community culturally-tailored health educator training.
For additional details on the 757 WeCare Clinic, click here to download the handout.