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Black History Month (February) is a time to recognize the invaluable contributions of the Black community. It also offers an opportunity to reflect on the historical journey that has shaped our present and recognize the work that still lies ahead.

Unique Health Needs of African Americans:
African Americans face unique health challenges due to a variety of factors, such as limited access to quality health care, socio-economic disparities, and unequal distribution of resources such as affordable housing, nutrition options, and education. The health disparities African Americans face contribute to an increased risk of several health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. It is important to acknowledge and respect the experiences of this community and work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive health care system for all.

The Role of Health Care Providers:
To improve outcomes in the community, health care providers need to be culturally competent. A comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to poor health outcomes is essential to ensure equitable access, address disparities, and provide effective treatment to this demographic. It is important to:

  • Foster a safe and respectful environment
  • Treat patients with dignity
  • Promote trust-building
  • Ensure that patients feel valued, heard, and included in their care

Information should be communicated in plain language that is easy to understand. Providers should commit to addressing questions and identifying any concerns that patients may be hesitant to express. It is crucial to promote preventive care within the context of Black history and culture.

Community First aims to provide fair and equal access to care for our Members in the Bexar Service Delivery Area, to be leaders in recognizing and eliminating social barriers, and to champion diversity within the Community First workplace that reflects the populations we serve. To eliminate social barriers, Community First has created a Non-Medical Drivers of Health (NMDOH) Guide to assist providers with community-based referrals.

Beginning September 1, 2024 Community First Health Plans, Inc. will be adding STAR+PLUS to its line of health care products.

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