Alabama Program Teaches Cosmetologists and College Students to Conduct Community-Based Health Outreach

Providing community-based health education and screening services for African Americans

    • October 12, 2004

Faculty in the Department of Nursing at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., trained cosmetologists and others to deliver community-based health education and screening services.

The goal of the project was to eliminate disparities in health outcomes related to breast and prostate cancer among primarily African-American populations in rural and inner-city Alabama.

For a 16-month period starting January 2002, project staff trained cosmetologists to deliver health messages in the Huntsville area about breast cancer. They, in turn, reached nearly 400 women with the information.

Key Results

  • Project staff trained 45 practicing and student cosmetologists to deliver health messages to clients about breast cancer risks and early detection.

  • The staff hosted two "Purple Teas" in local churches in the Huntsville area at which they presented information on breast cancer risk factors, prevention, early detection and self-examination.

  • Teams pairing Oakwood College nursing and religion students gave 38 presentations with short health messages at area church meetings.