The Baines Wheeler Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Group Health Symposium was held at Fisk University in the Appleton Room on the campus of Fisk University. It has been hailed as an event paramount to the greater good of the community. The house was packed with well over 200 attendees and guests.
Organizers and facilitators divided the symposium into three areas of focus to better maximize the resources and time dedicated to the day’s event. They included: awareness, empowerment, and hope. In addition to specific education on pulmonary hypertension, the Baines Wheeler Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Group addressed mental health and suicide prevention, improved police interactions, and personal health matters. The event was strategically held and coincided with National Suicide Prevention Month.
Hosted by the KYB Leadership Academy, a program sponsored by the Awareness Group. “We are always excited to collaborate with community partners and Nashville Leaders to provide this free event such as this one, that is made available and open to friends, family, caregivers, students, and the community as a whole,” said one organizer.
Shortly following the KYB Leadership Academy session was the first panel entitled ‘Awareness Focused on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: A Candid Conversation to Break the Stigma.’ During this panel, two individual and uniquely different testimonies were rendered by Benita Abernathy and Lillian Whitehead.
The well rounded, professional panel moderators included: Toni Kelly, LMSW, National Hook-Up of Black Women, Health Committee Chair; TN state Rep. and senior pastor of Lee Chapel AME Church, Harold M. Love, Jr., Ph.D.; Mari Ross-Alexander, CEO of Ross Behavioral Group; Willie Ross, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network; Robin Nobling, Suicide in the African Church Coalition; and Elder Michael Cox.
There was a raffle, and afterwards the next panel was entitled ‘Empowerment: Improving Police Interactions: Things You Need to Know.’ That dynamic panel of experts was moderated by Nashville’s General Sessions Judge Allegra Walker.
Those panelists included Martesha Johnson, Public Defender of Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County; Derrick Scretchen, attorney; and North Nashville Metro Police Commander Terrence Graves.
Panel number three was entitled ‘Hope: Healthy Communities, Meditation and Mindfulness.’ Stefanie Rome moderated it. She also provided information to engage participants. One of the many event highlights was an oratorical presented by KYB Leadership Academy Scholar, Irving D. Brown III. He chose ‘Not the Stereotype’ as his topic. His presentation prompted a standing ovation for being his excellent oratory as a high school senior.
Lunch for all in attendance was donated by Good Life Personal Chef Service, and prepared by Executive Chef Irving Brown II.
Dr. Katherine Brown said: “We appreciated the opportunity to co-sponsor this event with the National Hook up of Black Women. The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Alpha Delta Omega Chapter was a co-sponsor and community partner. Over the years, we have worked with many community partners including the HBCU Wellness Project, Nashville Chapter Jack and Jill, United HealthCare, Amerigroup, and McGavock High school cheerleaders to name a few.”
Dr. Brown also said she was impressive that the audience was comprised primarily of high school and college students who were eager to receive the information being shared, saying: “The RBW PH Awareness Group is still fulfilling its mission with good work and important health support raising awareness in the community.”
For more information about RBW PH Awareness Group, visit their website www.fightph.com.