Take control of your health

Independence Blue Cross and The Philadelphia Tribune are proud to join together to help improve the health of the African American community.

African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It’s even more pronounced in our region. In Philadelphia:

Through Our Community. Our Health., we’re working to increase awareness of the added risk diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity pose for African Americans. Now more than ever, it’s important for African Americans to prevent or manage these conditions, which have been identified as risk factors for more severe cases of COVID-19.

The good news is that there are steps that individuals can take to prevent or manage these conditions. On this site, we’ve compiled helpful information, tools, and resources to empower members of the African American community to protect their health.

Working together, we can help improve health across the community.

How did you hear about us?

We'd like to know how you heard about Our Community. Our Health. A campaign ambassador? The Philadelphia Tribune? Independence Blue Cross? Family Food? Someone else?

Please let us know

Free virtual nutrition services

Take steps toward a healthier you! Get free, personalized health and nutrition screenings and services from Family Food. Highly skilled dieticians will help you eat better and live healthier. Visit the Family Food website for more information or call 1-800-203-8657.

Visit Family Food

Health issues in the African American community

The African American community is facing urgent health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These conditions exist at alarming rates and impact daily quality of life and longevity. More alarming, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity tend to occur together, so individuals who develop one of these conditions often develop another.

Diabetes. African Americans are much more likely to be diagnosed with – and die from – diabetes than their white counterparts. Individuals with diabetes can experience serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, skin conditions, depression, and more. Diabetes is hereditary, so those with a family history of the condition need to be more careful and mindful about prevention.

Heart disease. The leading cause of death in African Americans is heart disease. In fact, the rate of high blood pressure in African Americans is the highest in the world! High blood pressure can lead to a range of problems, including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease.

Obesity. Obesity is calculated using body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight. People are considered obese if they have a BMI of 30.0 or higher. African American women have the higher rates of obesity or being above average weight than other groups in the United States. Being obese increases the risk of many serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and early death.

Act now for good health

The good news is that healthy lifestyle changes can help prevent or manage these chronic health conditions.

Eat well. A healthy diet is key for diabetes prevention and effectively controlling your blood sugar. It includes eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eating a healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure.

Get active. Regular exercise (30 minutes a day, five days a week), such as walking, water aerobics, dancing, and biking, can help prevent heart disease. It can also help you manage your weight and improve blood sugar levels.

Keep your heart healthy. Limiting salt and saturated fat, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk for heart disease.

Ask for help. Get free, personalized health and nutrition screenings and services from Family Food. Visit their website for more information or call 1-800-203-8657. 

Talk to a doctor. There are screenings available for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions. Independence members can locate a provider here:

Find a provider

The impact of COVID-19

Recent data suggests that COVID-19 disproportionately affects African Americans. African American people experience higher rates of heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, which have been identified as risk factors for more severe cases of COVID-19 and higher mortality rates.

Here’s what we know so far.

  • More African Americans in Philadelphia have been diagnosed with, hospitalized, and died from COVID-19 than any other race or ethnicity.
  • In Philadelphia, African Americans account for nearly 60 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • People in mostly African American neighborhoods find it more difficult to find testing sites or wait longer to get tested.
  • Obesity can further increase the risk of severe infection, illness, and death from COVID-19.

For information on care and services available for COVID-19, check out the IBX COVID-19 site. For a list of testing sites, click here.