DETROIT (FOX 2) - The team at Wayne Health knows how to break the cycle of health disparities in Black and Brown communities. They've started collecting data about racial health disparities in Detroit.
To help the people, they wanted to address their health needs directly. To help make that happen, they needed an $18.5 million grant, which Fox 2 told you about last November.
Now, they are able to bring the people their health needs in their new Mobile Health Unit.
For more than a year, we’ve seen the Wayne Health Mobile Unit break down the barriers to health care access in Detroit's black neighborhoods, from COVID vaccines to heart health awareness. Wayne Health’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Phillip Levy says his team has noticed nearly seven out of every 10 visitors have elevated blood pressure.
"Most of the folks have pretty profound hypertension and a lot of them fall into the category of what we call stage 2 hypertension, which is advanced hypertension that we really need to do something about as soon as possible," said Levy.
This summer, Wayne Health will officially begin its "achieve greater initiative," a program, which provides Detroiters with the resources to manage their health. Within this program, after one visit with the Mobile Health Unit, all other follow-ups can be done remotely.
With June being a time that more people are outside, Levy is hoping that more people will see the van, and become a part of the program.
"We are partnering with a number of church groups and organizations like that. Recreation centers and in general just trying to put the vehicles where people are," Levy said.
According to Dr. Levy, here is why, check-ups on blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease are vital for everyone, but especially for those in Detroit. The life expectancy of a Detroiter is up to 15 years less than Michigan's average life expectancy of 77.7 years. Also, deaths linked to heart disease jumped over 25% during the pandemic.
"Ultimately, we want everyone in the state, and especially, in the city of Detroit and in the Black community to live as many years as everyone else," concluded Levy.
Almost daily, Wayne Health has its Mobile Units in neighborhoods to help check heart health measures. They have a calendar on their website of where in the city they will be next.