Working to eliminate health disparities

Brittany LaPointe \
April 22, 2015
This article was co-written by the Summa Center for Health Equity and GAR Foundation. 
Infant mortality, premature births, and teenage obesity rates are highest among black residents in Summit County. These findings, among a number of other health disparities based on residents’ age, gender, income, education and place of residence were released in the newest Summit County Health and Health Disparities Report.
GAR Foundation with its partners at the Summa Center for Health Equity encourage Summit County residents to take action during Minority Health Month and every month out of the year. 
  1. Know thy numbers!  If you don’t, then visit your physician and ask for your health report card.
  2. Keep your BMI under 25.
  3. Blood pressure should be below 140/90.
  4. Keep total cholesterol under 180 mg/dl. 
  5. Non-fasting blood sugar should be under 200 mg/dl.
  6. Take advantage of the programs offered at the Summa Center at New Seasons Center for Health Equity located at 1493 S. Hawkins Ave, Akron, OH 44320. Patient Navigator number: 330-865-5328. 
The Summa Center at New Seasons Center for Health Equity is a nationally recognized health center that is home to primary care services and physicians, community based health programs, and education. The Center focuses on health promotion and prevention by following a model of care that is designed to address and eventually eliminate health disparities. 
Trust is a key component in eliminating health disparities and improving minority health.  The Center for Health Equity has worked hard to become a part of the community by understanding the issues and barriers to better health outcomes, and by using community input to guide their decision making and to inform programming. 
The Center offers a number of programs to the community to promote good health, with most of the services offered at little to no cost, including a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes and space to exercise. In addition to  on-going programming including The SWEET Life Program, diabetes self-management classes, cooking demonstrations, Men’s Prostate Support Group,  line-dancing, and Chicago Step. 
The Center also helps to address barriers that may impact a patient’s ability to obtain timely care and necessary support services through their Patient Navigator, and works with the Copley Health Center, a community partner that offers the popular Healthy Steps to a New You Program
The Center for Health Equity and NEOMED will host a free Developing Cultural Competency to Eliminate Health Disparities seminar on April 29. Call 330- 865-5365 for registration.