In 2006, The City of Berkeley Public Health Department released their Health Status Report identifying the high rates of chronic illness in South and West Berkeley particularly among African. Using this information LifeLong Medical Care applied for funding to support development of a program aimed at reducing health inequalities particularly cardiovascular disease. In 2008 Heart 2 Heart was formed, focusing on a small, mostly African American low-income neighborhood in South Berkeley.
Heart 2 Heart fosters the idea that community connectedness and cohesion are critical for improving community health. Through community engagement, building relationships and trust, Heart 2 Heart works to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease while connecting community members to resources and services they need. The Heart 2 Heart program serves as a bridge between community members and health centers throughout the Heart 2 Heart community.
Heart 2 Heart’s mission is to build relationships and strengthen social cohesion between community members by linking residents with needed resources and services to reduce the rates of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke occurrence in the Heart 2 Heart neighborhood in South Berkeley.
Activities and Events
Drop-in Blood Pressure Clinics: As part of our mission to be community based and health driven, Heart 2 Heart staffs several weekly drop-in blood pressure clinics open to the public. These clinics are open for anyone interested in having their blood pressures read, as well as for those seeking additional information and resources on hypertension, other chronic illnesses, nutrition, and general health and well-being.
Mondays: South Berkeley Senior Center – 2939 Ellis St. | 10:00am – 12:00pm | Flyer
Wednesdays: North Berkeley Senior Center – 1901 Hearst St. | 10:00am – 12:00pm | Flyer
Thursdays: LifeLong Over 60 Health Center – 3260 Sacramento St. । 2:00pm – 4:00pm | Flyer
Heart 2 Heart Neighborhood Health and Wellness Celebration: Every year, in celebration of Heart 2 Heart’s Mobile Health Van, we host a community health and wellness party and administer door to door blood pressure screenings throughout the neighborhood. Come enjoy an afternoon of FREE refreshments, music, fun, health screenings and additional community resources! | Flyer
Barbershop Health Hubs: Cardiovascular disease is an issue affecting South Berkeley’s African American community at a staggering rate compared to other groups within the area. In an effort to address this disparity, Heart 2 Heart has partnered with 3 local barbershops in South Berkeley in order to reduce hypertension and raise awareness about other health issues in our community. During our health hubs, we welcome anyone from the public to come collect health resources from us, enjoy a healthy snack, and have their blood pressure checked. Barbershops are a gathering place for African-American males and at Heart 2 Heart we believe in providing access to health care and information to those in the community – we meet them where they are at.
Mobile Van: Our Mobile Van, much like our Health Hubs, are part of our effort to meet the community where they are. Rather than waiting for individuals to come into the clinic we provide our blood pressure and information services curbside to any passerby. From our location on Sacramento St our volunteers go out into the community to nearby businesses and public spaces to provide blood pressure screenings.
Neighborhood Health Advocate Program: Heart 2 Heart’s Health Advocates Program is a leadership training program that strives to empower South Berkley community members with the tools to improve the health and well-being of their community. Our Neighborhood Health Advocates serve South Berkeley through activities and projects that inform neighbors about positive and healthy lifestyle choices related to high blood pressure and other chronic lifestyle illnesses. Health Advocates Summary
- Community Health & Leadership Training. (6 mo. Commitment).
- Training Topics: Leadership, Community Health & Prevention, Navigating the Health Care System, Cultural Humility, and etc.
- Cohorts start in Spring and Fall (8 week training)
Mini-Grants: Grants ranging from $500-$2500 are given to community members and organizations in an effort to support ideas and create a healthier H2H community.
Meet the Team!
Myesha Williams । Community Engagement Manager
Vincente Cordero । Community Engagement Specialist
Sabrina Valadez-Rios । Heart 2 Heart Program Specialist
Margarita Guerrero । Senior Community Health Worker Specialist
Kaprisha Dearman l Community Health Worker Specialist
**FOR MORE INFORMATION OR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE CONTACT MYESHA WILLIAMS**