Tyrha M. Lindsey, Board Member for Iris House
April is National Minority Health Month. The month was created by the Office of Minority Health. The theme for this year’s month is Health Equity Can’t Wait. Act Now in Your CommUNITY! This call to action is to unify regions, the state and local offices of minority health, the health departments and all the organizations and partners involved and invested in reducing health disparities.
As a Board Member of Iris House, I am tremendously proud of the work that Iris House does every day to reduce health disparities for women of color and their families dealing with HIV/AIDS as well as empowering women every day to live their best lives for themselves and their families.
Having worked as a public relations/marketing executive for the past 12 years in multicultural health marketing, I continue to be alarmed at the health statistics plaguing our community. Many in multicultural communities over index negatively regarding preventable diseases and are simply dying too soon from heart disease, diabetes, obesity and HIV/AIDS, to name a few. Through my travels across the U.S. and around the world, I am convinced that is does not matter if you are educated or not, middle to upper class or not, nor ”exposed” or not. We are all unaware when it comes to having the discipline to take better care of our health. Furthermore, as women of color, we control more than 62% of the healthcare decisions for our families as well as control more than 75% of every discretionary dollar of household income. It is so incredibly obvious that women influence our families’ behavior. Hence, when we feel good and are healthy, it reflects in the quality of life for our families and our communities as a whole.
Therefore, I urge everyone this month to celebrate National Minority Health Month and “be the change that you seek.” Take on a new healthy habit, learn something new about your health and perhaps even make appointments to see your doctors for your annual check-ups. Prevention is the key. All of us can be the ”change” and a shining example for others in our lives.
Finally, mark your calendar of Iris House’s 7th Annual Summit. By attending, you will be greatly educated on HIV/AIDS as well as empowered to make better health choices in your life. Knowledge is power.
It’s our human right to live our best lives. Iris House works every day to help all in our community achieve this goal. At the end of the day, we are our brothers and sisters keepers. Are you ready for a change?