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    (San Bernardino, Calif.) According to a San Bernardino County Department of Health report, African Americans in San Bernardino County die 13 years younger than whites. Many African American lives are shortened by illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer.
    The Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference (www.healthyheritagemovement.com) offers speakers, information booths and interactive sessions aimed at improving the overall health and well being of the African American community, said Phyllis Clark, conference founder and president. The event will be held at California Baptist University, located at 8432 Magnolia, Riverside, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., July 28.
    “The conference focuses on the major health and wellness issues in the African American community such as cancer, heart disease and organ failure.” Clark said. The conference also focuses on mental health issues, which are often not discussed in the Black community. “Mental health advocates are finding there are many emotional health issues in the African American home such as substance abuse and depression,” Clark said.
    Clark said the conference also features a presentation from keynote speaker Dr. Kimlin Ashing-Giwa, director of City of Hope’s Center of Community Alliance for Research & Education. Ashing-Giwa is a nationally renowned psychologist who specializes in minority health issues. City of Hope is a Southern California research, educational and treatment institution dedicated to fighting cancer.
    There are also free screenings for HIV/AIDS, prostate cancer and blood sugar levels, Clark said.
    Clark said the conference is organized by the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference Committee, which includes staff members from Riverside County Public Health Department, the American Cancer Society, the Southern California Witness Project, a breast cancer awareness group, Inland Agency, and several volunteers.
    “Many of the diseases that African Americans suffer from are lifestyle related,” Clark said. “If we change our behavior, and change the behavior of the next generation, we can prevent many of these life-shortening health problems. The goal of this conference is to provide African Americans with the tools to make better lifestyles choices.”
    “Although the information is targeted at the African American community, the conference is open to all nationalities,” Clark said.
    For more information about the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference call (951) 565-4431 or e-mail hhwcmovement@yahoo.com.

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