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Taking steps towards preventing heart disease in the African American community

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country, but it hits the African American community the hardest.

Posted: Aug. 25, 2018 10:50 PM
Updated: Aug. 25, 2018 10:52 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - 10 years ago, Dr. LaPrincess Brewer M.D., M.P.H. founded 'Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health,' or FAITH! in Baltimore as a class project. It involves partnering with African American churches to share health and nutrition information.

It's a cause that hits close to home, because Dr. Brewer has lost loved ones to heart disease. "I just want to make an impact so that other families won't have to go through what our family has gone through and to just start early by preventing heart disease in the first place," she says.

Since its creation, Brewer moved the program to Rochester when she became a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. To celebrate its 10 year anniversary, HEART! had a health fair, a presentation by Dr. Brewer, and a 2-mile walk around Rochester. Looking back on the last 10 years, Dr. Brewer is proud of the progress the African American communities she works with have made to get active, eat healthy, and live more healthy lifestyles overall.

"There is a more collective spirit towards promoting heart health and people are just really excited about being healthy and changing their lives for the better through eating healthier, being more active, and just coming together as a community," explains Dr. Brewer.

FAITH! now works with more than 6 churches in the Rochester and Twin Cities area and has developed a phone application to help people make healthy choices.

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