Health and Human Services
The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in black communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African Americans and other people of African ancestry. The goal of HHS is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated plays a significant role in providing it.
In support of the National Oral Health Initiative, the San Fernando Valley (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has partnered with Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures to provide free dental screenings and oral-health education to over 900 children in the San Fernando Valley since 2017. As a result of our efforts, the chapter won the Bright Smiles Community Impact Award for the Western Area at the 2019 National Leadership Summit in Columbus, OH.
In support of the HeartLinks Signature Program, the San Fernando Valley (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated promotes numerous activities on cardiac health, exercise and wellness through our Project S.E.L.F. umbrella program. The chapter’s first major health project was educating the community about sickle cell anemia, and the available treatment and funding resources. Since 2014, the chapter has made over 700 pillows for recovering cardiac patients at the 13 local hospitals in the San Fernando Valley. Furthermore, cardiologists from Kaiser Permanente and UCLA conduct an interactive workshop for Penny Lane Centers’ students to learn about how the heart works using a congenital heart disease case study, to develop awareness of cardiovascular risk reduction programs and to promote the importance of eating healthy foods for a healthier lifestyle. This activity was also designed to spark interest in STEM related careers.
In support of the National Mental Health Initiative, the San Fernando Valley (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has partnered with the California Black Women’s Health Project—the Sisters Mentally Mobilized—to develop a deeper knowledge and skills around supporting Black women’s mental health which serves as a catalyst to launch a mental health-focused Sister Circle in the San Fernando Valley.