Shawnee Health Service Celebrates Black History Month
The month of February is dedicated to an important minority group in the United States. That group is African Americans. During Black History Month, we celebrate the achievements of African Americans, and recognize the invaluable contributions and influence of African Americans in the United States. At Shawnee Health Service, we especially celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to health care and to the Community Health Center Movement.
The Community Health Center Movement has often times been connected with the Civil Rights Movement. Important visionaries in community health were/are African Americans, and it’s important to recognize their achievements.
Millions of Americans in the 1960’s lacked access to basic healthcare, not only in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods, but also in the rural neighborhoods we are more accustomed to in southern Illinois. Civil Rights activists like H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson founded America’s first community health centers, and now over 50 years later, health centers like Shawnee Health Service and 9,000 other sites in the United States serve over 24 million patients.
To the pioneers who have focused on community health, we say thank you.
During this observance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) raises awareness of health disparities, particularly in heart health and childhood obesity. OMH also provides a platform for national, state and local health organizations to discuss challenges and opportunities for the African American community, with the goal of decreasing health disparities and improving health outcomes.
This month, Shawnee Health Service will share statistics and resources to our social media pages with the goal of helping to reduce disparities and promote better health for African Americans.
H. Jack Geiger and Count D. Gibson, Jr.