In 2016, Annette Grotheer, a fourth-year MD/MPH candidate at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, founded The Shop Docs, a program that provides blood pressure testing in barbershops located in Miami-Dade County. The program also provides information on nutrition and exercise to prevent and manage high blood pressure and heart disease. The Nation’s Health recently recognized Grotheer’s initiative as one of the myriad barbershop interventions that are improving health outcomes.
The Shop Docs targets minorities, specifically black minorities, as they have heart disease and high blood pressure more than any other group. Grotheer and the team provide blood pressure screenings, public health education, such as on safe sex, and provide nutritional advice. Currently, the organization is in two locations in Overtown and will expand to more locations.
“We have doctors who volunteer, as well as people from all educational levels, like pre-med students, medical students, and physicians. They all get to work and mentor each other and we’re in the community doing important work,” said Grotheer.
Grotheer said that she and the team try to integrate themselves as seamlessly as possible when at the barbershops. They go on the first Saturday of every month and are there for three hours. The good thing about the barbershops, she added, is that people go consistently, as they trust their barbers innately. Because of this, Grotheer and her team have had a good return rate.
According to Grotheer, about 30 percent of the people that are screened are repeat participants. “It’s good that we reach new people, but it’s great that we can also touch base with participants and see how they’re doing when they return to the barbershop.” Read more.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 08