HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in black communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African Americans and other people of African ancestry. The goal of HHS is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated plays a significant role in providing it.
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Every October, the Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. We also participate in the New Orleans Susan G. Coleman race for the cure every year. In the past, our Rising Stars Mentees have joined us. Prior to the race starting, we have a brief presentation about breast cancer.
Each year our chapter observes National Donor Sabbath. We participate in services and programs to educate the public about the need for the lifesaving and healing gifts passed to others through transplantation, while also encouraging people to register their decision to be organ, eye and tissue donors.
NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH
In the past, our Health & Human Services Facet has partnered with our Services to Youth Facet to treat our Rising Star Mentees and their parents to a fun-filled and information luncheon focused on Heart Health. Thanks to Diva Dawg Food Truck we had a healthy cooking demonstration, and because of Heart N Hands, Inc. we received live-saving information and had an aerobic class.
SOMEONE CLOSE TO MY HEART LUNCHEON
Our Health and Human Services facet has offered STEM-related planned tours of the medical laboratory at Touro Infirmary for the Rising Stars at McDonogh 35Academy. Session usually began with an overview of medical laboratory careers. An introduction to the physical facility, and the role of the medical technologist in health care is given by the Laboratory Technical Manager as well. This is usually followed by presentations in the following laboratory areas – Hematology, Blood Bank, Microbiology, and Histology.
In the hematology section, the students get the chance to view a sickle cell anemia case. In microbiology they get to see the process of diagnosing infections, and in the blood bank, they learn the process of preparing different components, and blood typing was introduced. The histology lab presentation proved to be a “hands-on” exercise aimed to take the students through the entire process of preparing a tissue sample for examination and diagnosis.
Gift kits are assembled for take home, which includ an illustrated full color anatomy book, science-based brain teaser games, and promotional materials from the hospital. Additionally, the histology lab prepared a tissue slide and included a small gift token.
Our mentees have been introduced to healthy cooking concepts through demonstrations at Liberty’s Kitchen, a nonprofit entity that provides work opportunities for at-risk youth. The event titled “My Plate” allowed the women to explore alternative meal options as they each made their three separate dishes (protein, vegetable medley, dessert).
Our Rising Stars have had the opportunity to join students from across the city & participate in “The Heart of the Matter: The Circulatory System and the Heart” sponsored by STEM NOLA. Under the supervision of medical professionals, our Rising Stars built a heart and learned how to dissect one as well.