The Crusader Newspaper Group

60 churches join First Ladies Health Walk/Run


First Ladies Health 12
ORGANIZERS AND SPECIAL GUESTS are photographed above, at the kick-off of the First Ladies Health Initiative Day and 2nd Annual Health Walk, in Chicago. Pictured left to right are First Ladies Health Initiative Chicago Chapter Chair, Lady Shauntai Stowers of Mars Hill Baptist Church; the National Chair, Salem Baptist Church First Lady, Jamell Meeks; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White; First Ladies Health Initiative Founder and CEO Tracey Alston; Walgreens Director of Community Relations John Gremer; and Val Warner, co-host of ABC 7 Chicago’s Windy City LIVE.

On Saturday September 7th, the First Ladies Health Initiative hosted its 11th Annual First Ladies Health Day and 2nd Annual Health Walk in Chicago. This event was hosted by almost 60 First Ladies (pastor’s wives), who collectively represent congregations of more than 40,000 people. Together, they have utilized their collective influence to stage a citywide health takeover, directing their communities to get tested, know their health status and actively participate in wellness programs. The First Ladies partnered with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), and nearly Forty Healthcare Providers to host a Run/Walk as well as a full-scale Health Fair. The day kicked off day with a 5K Run/2.5K Walk, followed by free screenings such as HIV, Hep C, Glucose, and free education on topics such as Breast, Prostate, Colon, and Spinal Health, as well as CPR training amongst others. Additionally, on-site acupuncture, smoking cessation, dental screenings, x-rays and more was conducted. In addition to the free health screenings and education, food vendors, workout instructors powered by the Chicago Park District and a Children’s Pavilion were available. Free entertainment included a church choir, music DJs and national recording artists DJ Casper and TL Williams.

First Ladies Health 21This event was held in Burnham Park on the lake front in downtown Chicago. 2019 participating health partners included Walgreens, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Bright Pink, Rush University Medical Center, Cigna, Sinai Health Systems, Cook County Health and Hospitals System, Governors State University, Loyola University Medical Center, ChiroOne, Humana, Advocate Aurora Health Systems, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago Department of Public Health, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Illinois Department of Public Health and The American Red Cross.

The First Ladies Health Initiative is working to address troubling minority health disparities. Its goal is to empower African-Americans, Latinos and other communities of color to proactively take control of their health and wellness. Since 2008 the First Ladies Health Initiative, and its consortium of 200 plus churches have screened and educated a combined 300,000 plus people in the Chicago, Los Angeles, Gary, IN and Orange County, CA markets, respectively.

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