Dr. Bill James Releford Featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

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Dr. Releford's work with the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program highlighted on national news program

African American men, health disparities, diabetes, Dr. Bill Releford

Dr. Bill Releford, Founder, The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program

Dr. Bill James Releford, founder of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, was recently featured on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams. Dr. Releford discusses the health issues of African American men and how he uses local barbershops around the country to help alleviate the impact of health disparities.

About Dr. Bill J. Releford

Dr. Bill J. Releford, a podiatric surgeon based in Los Angeles, is a graduate of the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia. He began his practice in 1990 and established the Diabetic Foot Institute. As a podiatric surgeon based in Los Angeles, Dr. Releford specializes in diabetic limb salvage to help reduce the extraordinary high number of diabetes-related amputations experienced by African Americans. The astronomical amputation rate in the African American community inspired Dr. Releford to dedicate his life to developing innovative medical as well as advocacy strategies to increase health awareness and decrease diabetes and the amputation rate in underserved communities.

Dr. Bill J. Releford, launched two innovative initiatives to address health disparities in the African American community. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program was launched October of 2007 out of the need to address health care disparities among African American men with the mission to screen, educate and refer men to local health care resources. Additionally, Dr. Releford authored the book “The 5 Colors a Day to Better Health” in February 2009 to address the lack of awareness about healthy food choices and the consequences of developing diabetes and other chronic diseases. “The 5 Colors a Day to Better Health” introduces a simple way for people of all ages to choose better foods to promote better health. The book is the foundation of Dr. Releford's national campaign to fight diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. To help people achieve their health goals and objectives, a fitness component and a cooking device have been developed that will allow busy people the opportunity to prepare healthy meals for their families.

Dr. Releford and his efforts have recently been highlighted in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek Magazine, The View, The Doctors, The Today Show and more. Additionally, Dr. Releford's innovative community organizing strategies culminated into an invitation from President Obama to attend last year's White House Super Bowl Party.

About The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program

The mission of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program is to empower African American men to better understand diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension and how to prevent its development and complications. In addition, Dr. Releford discusses proper food choices and exercise as a necessary component to prevention. The program is the brainchild of Dr. Releford, as he became increasing frustrated with how hard it was to reach many African American men when it came to preventative health care measures. Dr. Releford decided that he would take health care to his brothers and get them to get screened in a setting that they felt comfortable in … the Barbershop.

Since its inception, the program has screened over 30,000 men in 26 cities in over 475 black owned barbershops. The BBHOP's goal for 2012 is to screen over 25,000 men in 50 cities in over 750 barbershops. Ultimately, the goal is to screen over 500k men by the year 2014 and help address the disproportionate number of African American men with undetected cardiovascular disease.

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