Leading retail pharmacy, CVS is preparing to present “To Your Health,” a community wellness program in the Washington, D.C. area. Over 100 events are planned at various CVS locations throughout the summer and fall. The fair will offer free blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and osteoporosis screenings, among an assortment of other health assessments.
Dr. Ian Smith, celebrity doctor, diet expert and founder of the “50 Million Pound Challenge,” will serve as the program’s ambassador for the first event in the District.
The AFRO spoke to Dr. Smith about his involvement in the fair and its importance to the D.C. community.
AFRO: Can you explain why you believe this fair is important?
Dr. Smith: Screening for health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease is one of the most important things people can do for their health. This is exactly why I started the “50 Million Pound Challenge” several years ago and it continues to go strong today. Screening is particularly important for African Americans who tend to be disproportionately affected by many chronic diseases. CVS has become a new sponsor of the “50 Million Pound Challenge” and their “To Your Health” community wellness program will bring free screenings and health consultations to the community in D.C. as well as Philadelphia and Atlanta. Through nearly 300 events nationwide – including 100 in and around D.C. – we are giving people critical knowledge about their health that can empower them to make positive changes in their lifestyle. Preventive care is an important part, if not the most important part, of staying healthy and curbing the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes.
AFRO: What secured your participation?
Dr. Smith: Our partnership with CVS is predicated on the shared desire to educate people about obesity and its many complications which include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Diabetes is a particular concern and we want to help millions prevent and manage the disease. Being overweight is the number one health crisis facing nearly all Americans and through my work with the “50 Million Pound Challenge,” I’ve made it my mission to reverse this worrisome trend that is leading to numerous health complications.
AFRO: What are some of the biggest benefits people can gain from attending the fair?
Dr. Smith: The events provide screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density (osteoporosis) and vision, with dental and chiropractic screenings also available in certain locations. These screenings are important, as they can help with the early detection of diseases, thus making treatment easier and more effective and potentially preventing more disturbing complications. Earlier detection can also mean less costly treatment.
AFRO: What are some follow-ups participants of the fair can do after attending?
Dr. Smith: Once screened, patients will have access to on-site consultations with physicians who analyze the results and refer them to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician, should additional follow-up be required.
AFRO: As ambassador of the event, what is your ideal outcome? Do you believe it will have a big impact on the participants' perspectives on health in the future?
Dr. Smith: Absolutely. By taking advantage of health screenings, participants are taking the first step to a long and healthy life. The great news is that many chronic diseases can be prevented through positive lifestyle choices like eating the right foods and maintaining a healthy weight. As a consumer, one of the most important things you can do is educate yourself. Some conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol may have no symptoms, so it’s incredibly important to take control of your health and get screened.
The first event of the “To your Health” community wellness program will be held on June 12. For more information call: 888-604-0333.