My Health Can’t Wait: Working to close the racial health gap through meaningful partnerships and a community-first approach
Johnson & Johnson recently partnered with two Philadelphia community organizations to support the launch of My Health Can’t Wait, a community wellness initiative connecting people of color with vital health information and resources.
Established in 2020 as part of Our Race to Health Equity, the My Health Can’t Wait program was created to educate and inspire people, especially patients and caregivers within communities of color, to prioritize their health. Since then, the initiative’s momentum has grown, thanks to expanded outreach, tailored research, PSAs, pilot programs and wellness events throughout the country. My Health Can’t Wait is now focused on scaling up these efforts for an even larger impact — expanding community initiatives, building additional educational resources to support healthcare providers and patients, growing initiatives with current partners and kicking off collaborations in the name of better health.
As part of its launch campaign, on June 17, My Health Can’t Wait partnered with Philadelphia’s Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church East and the National African American Male Wellness Agency (AAMWA) to host a variety of community wellness events, inspiring a diverse group of Philadelphians to prioritize their health and learn more about accessing vital health services.
During the Juneteenth Wellness Event, the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church East teamed with Johnson & Johnson to offer health education resources and a range of important tests, including screenings for peripheral artery disease, HIV and other STDs, depression, prostate and colon cancer, blood pressure and more.
“My Health Can’t Wait, for me, talks about personal responsibility. It talks about why I’m here, why we do this work, and why not only is my family here to get screened but we’re also encouraging church members to come,” said Reverend LeRoy Miles, Senior Pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church East. “We’ve learned that once a person gets information, they’re better equipped to make a decision about their health.”
Across town at Temple University, the AAMWA hosted an event focused on helping Black men understand the importance of disease prevention in living longer, healthier lives. For nearly two decades, the AAMWA has worked to reduce disparities in premature death and chronic diseases among African American males, providing tens of thousands of Black men across the country with free health screenings and earning recognition from President Barack Obama.
Their June event kicked off with the Walk to Save Black Men’s Lives, a 5K walk and run dedicated to raising awareness about Black men’s health issues and promoting preventive care. Additionally, the AAMWA partnered with Johnson & Johnson to offer educational health resources and screenings for a variety of health conditions, empowering men who have been historically marginalized and who may not see a doctor regularly to advocate for their health. Each year, more than 100,000 men, women and children attend the free event, and all have the opportunity to take part in both the walk and health screenings.
“The African American Male Wellness Agency bridges the gap between the community and institutions dedicated to solving the health equity concerns that negatively influence the lives of Black men in Philadelphia,” said AAMWA President Kenny Hampton. “Our annual 5K Walk and Run provides free health screenings for men to gain insights into their health and, ultimately, take action against preventable diseases.”
Johnson & Johnson is thankful for the innovative partnerships that have brought these community wellness events to life. Visit MyHealthCantWait.com to explore resources and learn more about upcoming events.