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By SUSAN ASCHOFF
Could good health be as basic as getting oneself to the doctor?
That's the premise of today's "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day," a national campaign to motivate people, particularly African-Americans, to take control of their health.
The day is part of the Department of Health and Human Services' initiative to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care and in the incidence and severity of disease. African-Americans, compared with whites, are less likely to have a consistent relationship with a doctor and are 30 percent more likely to die of cancer, heart disease and other medical conditions.
"I take friends and relatives to the doctor. I get a large reward from it. It makes me feel good," says Mattie LeSueur of St. Petersburg. LeSueur is a member of Lakewood United Church of Christ. The national United Church of Christ is a sponsor.
Health and Human Services addresses the issue in an educational campaign called "Closing the Health Gap." The effort focuses on six areas of concern: diabetes, heart disease and stroke, cancer, infant mortality, immunizations and HIV/AIDS.
More information is available at www.healthgap.omhrc.gov/dractivities.htm.
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A "night school" for women's health that features classes on issues from menopause to mother-daughter talks about puberty begins Wednesday at Tampa General Hospital.
Sessions will feature physicians and researchers from the University of South Florida College of Medicine and the community. They will be at the hospital's MacInnes Auditorium in the second floor East Pavilion, 2 Columbia Drive on Davis Islands. Each will open with health screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and more, available during registration from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with speakers and Q&As scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The classes are free, and parking passes will be issued. Participants should phone (813) 844-4977 to register or for more information.
Here is the class schedule:
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