The African American Health Program Executive Committee’s (AAHP-EC) Targeted COVID-19 Response program has partnered with influencers and celebrities like NFL sportscaster James Brown of CBS Sports, local radio and television personality Guy Lambert, and R&B recording artist Raheem DeVaughn in order to reach its goal of testing 15,000 Black residents in Montgomery County, MD.
“It is the holiday season, and there is strong evidence to suggest that family and group gathering will continue to spike cases of COVID-19, so it is most important that people get tested to know their status to curtail the spread of the disease,” said Beatrice Miller, Co-Chair AAHP-EC.
The AAHP-EC is pursuing specific ZIP codes in Montgomery County that have a higher population of African Americans/Blacks and decided on choosing churches, other places of worship, and residential complexes to set up free coronavirus testing sites. The self-administered tests are conducted in a drive-thru fashion, with results provided by the County’s COVID-19 lab. Also, wraparound services, mental counseling, a domestic violence hotline, and access to a network of Black physicians are available.
Additionally, every resident tested will receive guidelines and items designed to reduce the spread of COVID as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
The awareness campaign titled, “Don’t Stress, Take the Test” can be seen and heard on buses, radio, social media, local news stations, and includes public service announcements from James, Guy, and Raheem to engage and encourage African Americans to get tested. Also included is an informational video by Fit Fathers, an AAHP-EC community partner, to promote the initiative and ease anxiety around the COVID-19 test.
“Dating back to the Tuskegee Study, Black Americans have consistently expressed distrust in the medical field said,” Kimatni Rawlins, Fit Fathers Founder. “However, this skepticism can lead to misinformation and apprehension of medical services in the community. The AAHP-EP campaign is vital because it meets our people where we are and allows residents to receive health guidance from professionals who look like us and talk like us.”
For detailed information regarding the free testing locations and resources, please visit www.AAHPCovid.com.
The AAHP Executive Committee helps to ensure that the mission of African American Health Program (AAHP) is carried out; serves in an advisory capacity for the County’s Department of Health and Human Services; monitors the health status data for African Americans/Blacks in the county; and advocates for both resources and policy.
Beatrice Miller, Co-Chair AAHP EC
Jacquelyn Williams, Co-Chair AAHP EC
Pat Grant, Immediate Past Chair, AAHP-EC