Kathy Starks Dow
The time is right for the “4th Annual Black Health Matters Summit and Health Fair,” a free online virtual experience scheduled for Saturday, July 18th, sponsored by Black Health Matters. This summit is a siren signaling the importance of caring for ourselves and our loved ones.
The event is open to black women, men, people of color, and is openly inclusive to all people. This year the Summit will cover a wide variety of topics designed to encourage health management and disperse updated information on a range of health-related issues.
President and founder, Roslyn Daniels, launched Black Health Matters as an online resource in 2012, sensing the need for information by those who were new to the medical system as a result of the Affordable Care Act. ”It is incumbent on us to keep ourselves healthy by having serious conversations with our medical professionals,” said Daniels.
With Black Lives Matter protests across the country, black health is as essential as social activism. “You must understand what good health is so you can keep healthy,” says Daniels, whose team of 8 has created a new animated platform called Virtual Fairs to be unveiled on Saturday.
Described as the ultimate meeting place for obtaining health information, the day-long Summit will cover topics including Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Fibroids, Heart Disease, and Sickle Cell, all of which are pertinent to the black community.
With more than 1,500 already registered to participate, Daniels cleverly quoted “We hope to break the internet at 2000,” with her surprise presenter, former First Lady Michele Obama. She will address the Summit with a prerecorded message about the importance of registering to vote. Other featured speakers include Dr. George Johnson, New Jersey Urology, Maria Davis, an HIV advocate, Mental Health expert, Shanti Das, and Health Policy expert Debra Fraser-Howze. A discussion by Benita Perkins, a Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle expert, is considered vital. “The best thing to do is exercise,” says Daniels, calling it “a magic bullet with great benefits.”
Asked why people need to become their health advocate, Daniels said, “The best thing we can do is be educated. You must have an understanding of what good health is so you can keep good health.” With mental health being the most popular topic at past Summits, the “drop the mike” presentation will be given by Dr.Carol L. Brown, who delivers a passionate appeal to registrants to participate in clinical studies focused on curing cancer.
Participants must register at BlackHealthMatters.com. The Summit will host a Virtual Exhibit Hall where participants can download information.
Kathy Starks Dow is a former high school journalism teacher, a Golden Apple award-winning journalist at the Rockland Country journal news newspaper where she was a local beat reporter, and an author of a children’s book, Low Down Dirty Words.