A photo of a stethoscope and a heart made of felt

A Community Concern

While heart disease is a national problem, it is diagnosed at higher rates in Black and African communities due to multiple factors including systemic racism. REACH aims to address this with different strategies that include promoting physical activity, providing educational resources about nutrition, facilitating wellness programs, and reducing environmental and social stressors that worsen the effects of all of chronic diseases and conditions.

As a part of these strategies, REACH is offering a culturally-specific Healthy Heart Ambassador (HHA) program facilitated by community health specialist, Carrie Robersone.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a set of conditions that include coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiomyopathy and more. Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol (LDL)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes diagnosis
  • Stroke 
  • Smoking

Many people first learn that they have some form of heart disease after a heart attack or stroke. Knowing the other symptoms and risk factors can help you intervene sooner to improve your health and reduce the risk of severe disease. To learn more, visit the CDC's website.

Healthy Heart Ambassador Program

Starting in February 2023, opportunities will be available to the Black/African community of Multnomah County (including immigrants and refugees) to enroll in the Healthy Heart Ambassador Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program (HHA-BPSM). This evidence-based program helps participants to lower and manage their blood pressure by teaching proper self-monitoring techniques. The HHA program also provides individualized support and nutrition education through a trained facilitator that empowers participants to take charge of their health.

Locations and Times

  • Somali American Council of Oregon: February 13 to June 12
  • Ethiopian Eritrean Community Resource Center: Feb 27 to June 26

To enroll, contact Carrie Robersone: carrie.robersone@multco.us; 971-610-7562.