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      HomeOur CompanyOur societal impact Global Health Equity Encouraging Houstonians to take control of their health
      A headshot of Pastor Jamail Johnson with his arms crossed

      Encouraging Houstonians to take control of their health

      On Saturday, April 27, Johnson & Johnson will support the African American Male Wellness Agency’s Houston Black Men’s Wellness Day: Health Fair & 5K Walk. The free, family-friendly event is the kickoff of the My Health Can’t Wait series sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, which aims to empower patients of color with educational resources and partner-led health screenings.

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      For Pastor Jamail Johnson, health education isn’t just about passing along information. It’s about creating a new future for yourself, your community and the people you love.

      “This work is an opportunity to really establish a new normal for my family for generations to come,” says Pastor Jamail Johnson, Executive Director of the African American Male Wellness Agency (AAMWA) in Houston.

      Too many Black men in the U.S. experience negative health outcomes, and have worse morbidity and mortality rates than nearly all other racial groups. It’s something Pastor Johnson has seen in his own family.

      He lost his 45-year-old brother-in-law to a heart attack, his father had prostate cancer and his uncle died of colon cancer. Through AAMWA, which works to save the lives of Black men and their families by improving their physical, mental and financial health, Pastor Johnson is helping ensure that other Black men in Houston don’t endure the same fate.

      “The work that we’re doing in Houston is monumental,” said Pastor Johnson. “Thanks to our programs and initiatives and the intentionality behind them, we’re helping to restore health in our communities.”

      While AAMWA is focused on improving the lives of Black men and their families, they are inclusive of everyone, working to ensure that their services can reach everyone who needs them. “We take an unapologetic approach to invite everyone to the table,” he said.

      Bridging the health equity gap in Houston
      Houston’s Black and Brown communities face stark racial health disparities. Black people living in Houston are disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases, such as obstructive pulmonary disease, peripheral arterial disease, stroke and kidney disease, compared to their white counterparts. Pastor Johnson notes that the geography of the University of Houston provides a clear example of how these disparities can play out. On one side of the university is one of the nation’s sickest zip codes, while on the other is one of the nation’s leading medical centers.

      To Pastor Johnson, this underscores the vital importance of AAMWA and this community wellness event in Houston.

      “AAMWA is a bridge, providing boots on the ground in the community for partners like Johnson & Johnson. To be that bridge is something that brings me great joy,” said Pastor Johnson.

      Houston Black Men’s Wellness Day: Health Fair & 5K Walk
      AAMWA’s second annual Houston Black Men’s Wellness Day: Health Fair & 5K Walk is an inclusive event open to everyone. It will include a 5K walk and run, partner-led health screenings and resources, live entertainment and family- friendly fun.

      During last year’s debut event, AAMWA hosted the largest health and wellness event in Houston. This year, its ambitious goal is to go bigger by hosting10,000 Houstonians and screen over 1,000 men.

      Over the last two years, My Health Can’t Wait has supported community wellness events like the one being held in Houston in cities across the United States to empower patients with resources to take control of their health. Together with partners, including AAMWA, the events have reached over 100,000 people, delivered 16,000 partner-led health screenings and distributed 35,000 packets of educational materials to communities of color.

      Looking towards the future, Pastor Johnson hopes to scale AAMWA’s impact across the world. “Wherever there are Black people, health disparities exist. I want to see us in every city, being supported across the country,” he said.

      Health equity is a collective effort, and Johnson & Johnson is dedicated to driving change both within and alongside the communities impacted by health disparities. By supporting AAMWA and other community organizations, Johnson & Johnson is helping to make health equity a reality for everyone.

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