"Public health is what we do together as a society to create the conditions under which everyone is healthy. It works best when everyone is engaged."
This quote from Fairfax County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu encapsulates the spirit of how it is essential for our local community to collaborate in order to create a healthy foundation for all.
In kicking off Black History Month, the Health Department recognizes contributions to public health made by local historically Black institutions. We celebrate not only past efforts, but how these community champions continue to create foundations for a strong, healthy future for all in Fairfax.
Improving health literacy
Dozens of local leaders representing historically Black sororities and fraternities, faith-based institutions, advocated for the needs and non-profit organizations work together as part of the Stronger2 partnership. This initiative to improve health literacy in Black communities and other communities of color has clocked countless hours of community public health work.
Supporting emergency response
During the COVID-19 emergency response, members of the local Black faith-based community of their congregations and provided spaces for COVID-19 testing, vaccination and information sharing. Local Black leaders also contributed to the Health Department’s public information efforts. These trusted local voices provided perspective, created conversations that furthered factual information, and answered community questions.
Creating spaces for culturally competent health conversations
Black-owned barbershops and hair salons around Fairfax support Real Talk events which bring together people to have direct conversations about different health topics. What began as an initiative to answer
questions about COVID-19 health and safety protocols and vaccines has grown into deeper community health and safety conversations, customized at the direction of shop patrons.