Health equity and empowerment symposium held for women in St. Louis

Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 7:03 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Archway (MO) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated hosted a “Links to Healthy Living” health equity and empowerment symposium for women on Saturday.

Discussions around kidney, breast and heart health were some of the focuses around the event.

The Links, Incorporated focuses on friendship and service for the community.

Chapter president Lauren Ming said hosting the symposium will help address health disparities.

“Across many health conditions, we see that African Americans suffer at greater rates than the white population,” Ming said. “This event today is an effort to save lives.”

Ming said cardiovascular diseases kill more than 50,000 black women annually and that a stroke is a leading cause of death among black women.

The Links, Incorporated reports that black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women and that African Americans account for 35% of those with kidney failure.

Ming said those disparities could be socioeconomic, meaning access to healthcare can be limited.

“Your health is your wealth, and so taking care of your health is of utmost importance,” Ming said.

To help bridge that gap, free screenings were offered to anyone in attendance.

Health screenings included blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and assessments of BMI based on age, height, and weight.

“People will get their blood pressure checked, their BMI, other information, and they’ll have a little consultation with a healthcare professional to help them understand are they at risk and if they are, what are some things they can do about it,” Ming said. “In many cases, our community does not have access to that information easily.”

People took advantage of the free screenings.

Tracie Goffe was one of them and said she always tries to stay on top of her health.

“Historically, our relationship with the medical community has not been as transparent and great as it probably should be so some of us may put off getting those annual physicals,” Goffe said.

Goffe is encouraging others to do the same and get screened.

“Our community is going to benefit overall if they take those learnings back to their friends and their family,” Goffe said. “Everybody is going to benefit.”

The Links, Incorporated is hosting events like this across the country to help improve health outcomes for black families.