Designed to address high blood pressure concerns among African American men in barbershops along the North Shore of Staten Island.
Borough President James Oddo has kicked off ‘Take the Pressure Off Staten Island’ (TPO SI), a pilot program offered within barbershops on the North Shore in an effort to increase the awareness and treatment of high blood pressure among black men in our community. It officially began at Against da Grain Barber Shop (206 Bay Street) on Aug. 8. TPO SI is a program offered through a partnership with the City Health Department and Dr. Joseph Ravenell, an expert in the field of hypertension, along with community partners.
Hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke among New Yorkers; more than one in four adult New Yorkers is diagnosed with high blood pressure. In New York City, the prevalence of hypertension is 1.5 times higher among African American adults than white adults, and African American men have a significantly higher rate of hypertension than white men. Individuals in communities with high health disparities have historically struggled to access care.
On Staten Island, the number of hospitalizations related to hypertension are higher than other boroughs. St. George/Stapleton ranks in the top ten neighborhoods in the City for hypertension hospitalizations and heart disease.
“From the first moment I saw Dr. Ravenell’s TED Talk about how barbershops could be used to help address hypertension among black men, Borough Hall has been working to set up a pilot program we could replicate on Staten Island. As we have heard government express such dismay at health disparities of COVID impacts across the city, we are grateful to be at this point in our effort to team up with Dr. Ravenell to expand his brilliantly simple yet effective plan of using barbershops to address tragically high hypertension rates among black men. The "Silent Killer" is wreaking havoc on Staten Island, too,” said Borough President James Oddo. “Going for a haircut has always been thought of - and rightly so - as contributing to a neat and clean appearance. But now there is something more to it: for some folks, it may be contributing to a longer life.”
How to get involved
Men wishing to have their blood pressure checked at their next haircut can go to participating barbershops for services.
Locations where you can get your blood pressure checked: