Our Chair wisely guided NCNW to adopt Four for the Future – a forward looking platform for growth and change.  One of the essential pillars of Four for the Future is protecting the health of our members, their families and communities.  As the saying goes, “health is wealth.”

Closeup headshot portrait of friendly smiling confident female doctor healthcare professional with labcoat holding pen to face and holding notebook pad. Isolated hospital clinic background.

NCNW has formed partnerships with the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the AIDS Health Foundation to address one of the most disturbing health challenges – protecting black women from HIV.  According to Dr. Barbara Lee Jackson, Director, Program Design and Implementation at BWHI, we must eliminate the stigma.  We can’t protect ourselves until we acknowledge that protection is needed, desired and deserved.

1 in 32 Black women is expected to be infected with HIV in her lifetime.  That’s compared to just 1 in 800 White women.  Why the big gap? There are several factors, including poverty, lack of access to health services and higher rates of incarceration among Black men, which decreases the number of available partners for Black women.

We must confront and defeat the myths surrounding HIV/AIDS, including:

•    HIV and AIDS always result in death
•    HIV is only transmitted through sex
•    HIV infection is the result of personal irresponsibility that deserves to be punished

INDEXUS: What Healthy Black Women Can Teach Us About Health. Read more . . .
For more information right now, visit BWHI and AHF.

The NCNW program emphasis on health is a “Call for Action.” Read this article to learn more about Dr. Height’s Focus on Health. Prevention is the key to a proactive health regimen – check out this guide to critical screenings for women through each stage of life. Black Women’s Health Imperative is a leading African American health education, research, advocacy and leadership development institution whose mission is to promote optimum health for Black women across the life span – physically, mentally and spiritually. The US government has established a site exclusively focused on women’s health.
NCNW and Transitions Optical, maker of Transitions lenses, the #1-recommended photochromic eyeglass lenses worldwide, have partnered to bring eye health information to the African American community. Read about this collaboration here. Did you know African Americans are at higher risk for many eye- and overall-health issues that can impact vision? African Americans are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from cataracts than the general population, and are five times more likely than Caucasians to develop glaucoma. They are also more likely to develop overall health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure that can impact the eyes, and even lead to blindness. To learn about diseases more common among African Americans and tips for seeing your best and protecting your eye health, read this brochure. Learn more about your risk for specific diseases based on your age and ethnicity, with this Healthy Sight Assessment
Did you know that African American Women are at the highest risk in the nation to be overweight (BMI over 25) or obese (BMI over 30)? Obesity contributes to many health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes (see below for more information on these two diseases) but with education and dedication, you can help avoid or reduce this dangerous excess weight through diet and exercise. To learn more about obesity (definition and risks) and to check your BMI visit the American Obesity Association. The US Department of Health Customized Food Pyramid can help you to choose the foods and amounts that are right for you based on your age, sex and activity levels. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides information, resources and tips on how diet can help reduce the risk of disease and increase well being and health. Portion control is a key factor to gaining control of your diet. Check out this interactive quiz to get an idea of just how much America’s portions have increased over the years. Combine regular exercise with a balanced diet to complete your healthy lifestyle. Guidelines and suggestions for all ages and fitness levels can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can increase your activity level in so many ways – jogging, cleaning, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, lifting weights, playing ping-pong – every bit of added activity counts, but how much? Use this online calorie calculator to find out how many calories you expend doing your favorite exercise or activity.
As the American Heart Association will tell you, heart disease and stroke are major risks for women. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in America. For a quick check of your heart attack risk, try this calculator. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recognizes the particular risk that heart disease poses to women of color, and have initiated The Heart Truth campaign to increase awareness and provide resources to help women take charge of their heart health. Several leading organizations focused on improving heart and women’s health care are banding together to support landmark legislation aimed at fighting the number one killer of American women – cardiovascular diseases. The American Heart Association, Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., Society for Women’s Health Research and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease are activating for passage of the HEART for Women Act. The bill would improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases in women by educating both women and health care providers about the most effective options for women.
Black women, you have the power to prevent type 2 (formerly known as adult-onset) diabetes in you and in your children. Learn how working, time-strained and willing-to-learn sisters can make healthier food choices, exercise more, manage diabetes, if they have it, and much more. Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes. To address this growing health problem, the American Diabetes Association created a community-based program called the African American Initiative. It is an aggressive public education campaign designed to increase awareness of the near-epidemic rate of diabetes among African Americans. The African American Initiative is the Association’s targeted approach to increase awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices such as moving more and eating healthier.
The Body is a complete HIV/AIDS web resource. From the San Francisco Chronicle: Disease denial devastating for African Americans, Blacks are most vulnerable: Group sustains more than half of new U.S. infections, deaths, but effort to inform intensifies. From Reuters Health: Poverty fuels HIV among Black heterosexuals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired a genital HPVinfection. Often there are no symptoms for this illness—which is why knowledge is vital in preventing and treating it. Take a moment to get the facts and help prevent the spread of this disease.
Uterine fibroids are the most common pelvic tumor in women, and are about three times more common in Black women than in White women. Learn about fibroids and what you can do to keep yourself safe. Recent news: Fibroids to blame for fertility problems in Blacks.
NCNW and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) have joined forces to help children maintain a healthy weight. On October 31, 2008, NCNW Cluster Leaders traveled from around the country to receive training in two health education programs at the NIH. “Energize Our NCNW Families: Parent Program” provides parents and caregivers practical research-based information to help families maintain a healthy weight. “Media-Smart Youth: The Essentials” teaches young people ages 11 to 13 years how to analyze and understand media messages about nutrition and physical activity so that they can make healthy choices for themselves. These programs are available by calling the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943.
  • NCNW and the NICHD have also produced Training Guides for each program so Cluster Leaders can train others to facilitate the programs.
  • Energize Our NCNW Families: Parent Program

Download the Training Guide here.

Download the slides for this Training Guide here.

  • Media-Smart Youth: The Essentials

Download the Training Guide here.

Download the Overview slides for this Training Guide here.

Download the Welcome slides for this Training Guide here.

  • Fit for Life” Forms and Templates”

Download the Workshop/Training Report Form here.

Download the Workshop/Training Expense Report Form here.

Download a Workshop/Training Flyer Template here.

Download a Formal Letter of Introduction Template here.

Download a Radio PSA Template here.

Download a Print PSA Template (for newspapers/newsletters) here.

Download “Fit for Life” Fact Sheet here.