OWN: Screen capture from YouTube video.

LOS ANGELES – The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and its first-ever health initiative OWN YOUR HEALTH announced today an exclusive partnership with Hologic’s Project Health Equality public health initiative.  The partnership will bring awareness to the disparity of healthcare Black women receive in the areas of breast, cervical, and uterine fibroids; provide access to education and preventative tools using Hologic’s comprehensive research and resources; and share original content from celebrated OWN creative visionaries highlighting the authentic stories and voices of Black women.

Key insights from leading public health, academic, and professional health organizations indicate that healthcare is a critical social justice issue that will require collective resources to eradicate.  The facts are clear:

  • Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer.*

  • Black women experience higher mortality rates from cervical cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.**

  • Black women are 2x as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.***

  • Black women are 2.4x more likely to undergo a hysterectomy for uterine fibroids.****

  • Black women are 3x more likely to be hospitalized for fibroid-related issues as white women.*****

“As a global leader in women’s health, one of our top priorities is to ensure the women we serve have access to life-changing and life-saving care and resources,” said Karleen Oberton, Hologic’s chief financial officer. “It is more important than ever to address health disparities for Black women – and there is no better partner than OWN to make real change happen. With our resources and OWN’s reach and resonance, we are steadfast in our commitment to serve Black women everywhere.”

“COVID-19, societal pressures and the ongoing racial justice movement have highlighted that stark disparities continue to exist regarding affordable and accessible healthcare, systemic racism, and racial discrimination in healthcare, especially for Black women.” said Jennifer Giddens, head of marketing at OWN. “We are proud to announce this important partnership that supports awareness and action to Black women to own their whole health – physical, mental and emotional as it has never been more critical to use OWN’s wide-reaching platform to meet our audience where she is with support, tools and resources to prioritize her health and wellness.”

The Epidemic Within The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic raised broad awareness of how Black women – and Black communities — have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.  This is also the case for other health conditions.  In many health areas, Black women experience lower preventive screening rates and follow-up care than other ethnic groups and, accordingly, may be diagnosed with illness at a later stage.

Additionally, Black health disparities often exist as a result of unique stressors such as systemic racism within and outside of the United States healthcare system, racial segregation of neighborhoods, racism-related chronic psychosocial stress and medical mistrust.  The OWN YOUR HEALTH and Hologic Project Health Equality partnership addresses the physical, mental and social/emotional aspects of health for and about Black women.

Key Healthcare Issues for Black Women in America:

To inform the campaign, OWN is implementing a study to identify key healthcare issues, attitudes, and behaviors affecting Black women in America. The study includes questions about Black women’s experience of bias in healthcare settings, the impact of past trauma on receiving care, their existing relationships with healthcare providers, and inquiry into cervical, breast, and uterine health and screenings.

OWN YOUR HEALTH focuses on three key pillars affecting Black women’s health:

  • Proactive Prevention – including routine screenings, nutrition, physical activity, health education and accountability.

  • The Unspoken – including fertility, motherhood, sexual and relationship health, trauma, financial health, and treatment options.

  • Superwoman – source of pressure many Black women regularly experience – the obligation to project an image of strength and to suppress emotions, to resist accepting help or admitting vulnerability and prioritizing caregiving to others and community to the detriment of self.

Find out more about OWN YOUR HEALTH at www.ownyourhealth.tv

This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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TheBurtonWire.com is the premiere online destination for people who think for themselves. This blog offers news from the African Diaspora, culture that is produced by often overlooked populations and opinion that is informed and based on fact. Tired of the onslaught of websites and talking heads that regurgitate what people want to hear, TheBurtonWire.com is a publication that elevates news and perspectives that people need to hear. TheBurtonWire.com is for individual thinkers who understand that they are part of a larger collective. What is this collective? Free thinking people that care about the world, who will not be categorized or boxed in by society or culture and are interested in issues and topics that defy stereotypes and conventional wisdom.

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