Volunteer Diana Flores gets her blood pressure checked by Rocky Vista University student volunteer Claire Simon. Colorado Black Health Collaborative volunteers are always the first patients, modeling good health monitoring. CBHC has given more than 5,000 checks since the program began in barbershops and salons.

Volunteer Diana Flores gets her blood pressure checked by Rocky Vista University student volunteer Claire Simon. Colorado Black Health Collaborative volunteers are always the first patients, modeling good health monitoring. CBHC has given more than 5,000 checks since the program began in barbershops and salons.

The National Civic League and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation want to find more outstanding efforts that improve health outcomes for those most affected by health disparities.

The award recognizes and honors up to two individuals who have successfully implemented a systems change approach within the past two years that helps create a culture of health in their communities.  The impact must be related to one or more of the following areas: access to quality care, education, employment, income, community environment, housing, and public safety.

In addition to national recognition at the National Civic League's annual All-America City Award program and an invitation to participate in Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Equity Award annual learning and recognition event, winners receive a $3,000.00 prize. 

To be considered for the 2017 RWJF-National Civic League Award applicants - or those nominating others - must complete the form on the following pages and submit it via email to: healthequity@ncl.org by no later than 11:59 p.m. PST April 1, 2017.

The Colorado Black Health Collaborative, whose work produced last year’s winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-National Civic League Award for Health Equity, has continued to spread the message of healthy lifestyles.

Thelma Craig and Dr. Terri Richardson of the CBHC were the two individuals who won the health equity award and attended the RWJF Recognition and Learning Convening in 2016.  Now, the search is on for new applicants. Click here for the complete rules and details, including additional eligibility requirements.

Since winning, though, CBHC has stayed busy because there’s plenty to do in fighting against health disparities, said Craig, chair of the CBHC board of directors. Offering a few examples, Craig said African Americans experience high rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and breast cancer.

“We have a high incidence of disease in our community,” Craig said. “We want to create a culture of health. We want people to have a new attitude.”

Richardson, a CBHC board member, agreed, saying the health of Black community has not reached its full potential, so the work of CBHC continues to be important.

“CBHC's mission is to achieve health equity and our work will not be done until we have closed the gaps in the various health metrics,” said Richardson, whose specialty is internal medicine.

Barbershops, forums, block parties and even doorsteps are places where you’ll find CBHC helping the community learn about and develop action steps to address health problems affecting the African-American community. Through the Barbershop/Salon Program, an effort that Richardson manages, the CBHC has touched between 4,000 and 5,000 people with its free blood pressure screenings. That’s where you’ll find CBHC volunteers on most Saturdays.

The group focuses on delivering information in a culturally competent way that appeals to its constituents, from the way they create the invitations to the type of activities they organize, Craig said. An example of picking a catchy theme and activity was the social media blitz, #ShowYourFLOW, which asked people to post on Facebook photos of their FLOW (Forming a Lifetime of Optimal Wellness), she said. On Feb. 25, CBHC is sponsoring its first quarterly forum of 2017, “Flowing in Black Love, where attendees are introduced to alternative health resources and self-care.

“CBHC truly wants all of our community to F.L.O.W- to form a lifetime of optimal wellness,” Richardson said.

These are just a few examples of how these CBHC leaders distinguished themselves when they won the health equity award in 2016.