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"Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day" is part of a national campaign by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that focuses on the health gap between racial and ethnic minorities and the general population. The campaign, Closing the Health Gap, was launched November 19,2001.

"Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day" encourages individuals to see a health care professional on the 3rd Tuesday of each September, or make an appointment for the near future. By focusing our efforts on a single day, it is believed we can help generate a greater understanding of the importance of regular health screenings while at the same time focus on those populations that tend to have the least access to health care. Many people wait until there is an emergency before they go for a checkup. In association with "Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day", the People of Color Festival is an excellent way to screen individuals, and where necessary, refer them for follow-up care. Although a specific day is targeted, individuals are urged to consider any day as a good day to take a loved one for a checkup.

In January 2002, the Center for Minority Health launched the African American Health Promotion Campaign: Countdown to 2010 to focus local (through the Arizona Health Disparities Center) and regional attention on a public health approach to promote health and prevent disease in the black community. The People of Color Festival (POCF) was developed to reach the Tucson community as one of the components of this campaign. The POCF is a health/screenings fair and will be located this year at the Dunbar Center on Main Street and 2nd Street.

Through the use of local community-based organizations, including health centers and health departments, local civic groups, businesses and other community-based organizations, we are providing health screenings and life saving health education, medical personnel including doctors and nurses to answer health questions, sponsoring the Festival, and sharing information about "Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day".

Participants are encouraged to identify someone they know who hasn't been to a health professional within the last year, make an appointment for them and take them to the appointment if necessary. The CAAHW is encouraging national, state, and local organizations to partner with us to help spread the word. We encourage you to collaborate with us to ensure that those most in need of health care will have access to a health professional on "Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day".


The Coalition for African American Health and Wellness (CAAHW) is a non-profit 501 c3 organization staffed by volunteers from various agencies, organizations and churches from the Tucson Community. CAAHW was initiated by the Pima County Health Department. The Health Department's purpose is to promote and protect the health of the people of Pima County, Arizona. In June, 1997, the Public Health Nursing Department, a division of the Health Department, had a meeting to identify who they were not seeing or serving at the variety of clinics available in Pima County. They identified the missing populations as those of Asian, American Indian and African American heritage. A conglomeration of organizations and other agency contacts were assembled to brainstorm for possible ways to reach these populations. The ideas from this group were utilized to format the mission and goals for CAAHW. CAAHW has been funded by small grants received from the United Supreme Council Charitable Foundation for the past four years. The Tucson Urban League assisted the CAAHW with funding for our Line Dance/Exercise Program.

The mission formed by this group was to promote healthy living and improve the overall quality of life for African Americans and medically underserved people in the Tucson community. They recognized that many disease processes are not the result of one single factor, but a collection of lifestyle, genetics and environmental effects. CAAHW goals are to provide health education to the African American community and the medically underserved regarding common diseases, physical and emotional violence, and substance abuse, and to improve access to primary health care and behavioral health supports.

In 2005 the Arizona Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness and Sports presented the CAAHW with a plaque for its unique approach (Line Dance/Exercise) to physical fitness and exercise. The Coalition was also honored with an award from the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association for their support to these agencies.

In 2005, CAAHW restructured and developed new objectives to reduce health disparities among ethnic groups in Pima County. These objectives include organizing the annual "People of Color Festival" held every September to inspire health through medical screenings, coordinating local activities promoting national "Take Your Loved One for a Check Up Day" annually on the third Tuesday of September, organizing the health section of the Tucson Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce Black Business Expo, producing the Pima County African American Physician Directory in conjunction with the Tucson Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce, providing culturally appropriate community health education through our Speakers Bureau, and partnering with churches, local agencies and groups to promote health education by participating in health fairs and supporting health ministries in local faith based organizations.

State Health Department, Governorís Council on Health,
Celebrate National Public Health Week with Awards Presentation 2005

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