The African American Wellness Project was organized to respond to the inequities in health care delivery that exists between African Americans and the rest of America. It is our belief that while good health begins with diet and exercise, once you enter the health care system, you must be organized to get the most out of it.
The African American Wellness Project resulted from an organization conference which focused on the persistent health disparities experienced by African Americans. This process consisted of a one day meeting, involving some 25 African American thought leaders from San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and a half day follow-up meeting.
The discussion at the conference resulted in the formation of THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WELLNESS PROJECT as a registered non profit organization. Our mission: ‘To direct resources (dollars, services, information etc.) towards empowering the African American Community to improve health outcomes and promote wellness”.
Most African Americans have had an experience with the health care system that was clearly attributed to race. It my not have involved you directly but, perhaps your children, or your mother or grandfather. We at the African American Wellness project believe that if you account for every other variable that impact on heath outcomes race is a major determinant of health status of African Americans. Medical personnel and institutions often without intent do not provide the same level of care to the African American community that is expected from other communities. We believe that the health care system is slowly changing to eliminate the disparities in evaluation and treatment. However, we cannot expect that change to take place fast enough. Given the current health care climate characterized by increasing cost, managed care both providers and consumers are unhappy. Surviving the systems seems more important than changing it.
Therefore our intent is to focus on the African American Consumer. The emphasis will include the importance of lifestyle and health, prevention, screening and early detection. In addition, we want African Americans to become more sophisticated as they navigate the health care system. We want African Americans and other consumers to be alert and vigilant when they do not receive quality care. And we intend to create a network of experts to support you as you as we work together to make the health care system more sensitive to the needs of our community.