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Metro organization seeking to improve women's health: 'We are encouraging Black women to advocate for themselves'

Black Women 4 Healthy Living is asking women to pay more attention to their health, and holding classes to help them better their lives.

DES MOINES, Iowa — During National Women's Health Week, one local organization is hoping to send a message to women, specifically Black women, that it's time to focus on their health. 

Angela Mickens-Bolden, a board member with Black Women 4 Healthy Living and a registered nurse, said women need to take stock of their health and start making adjustments.

Jamie Yovonie, another board member in the group, said "this looks like ... eating better and working out more."

Mickens-Bolden also noted improving Black women's help starts with not ignoring pains or anything that seems out of the normal. It also includes going to the doctor or getting if one if a person does not have one.

And one of the most important things is to speak up.

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"We are encouraging Black women to advocate for themselves so when they do get a primary care doctor ... get a primary care doctor that's going to take care of you uniquely and be able to find your voice," Mickens-Bolden said. 

The group does hold classes once a month, called health coalitions, every third Saturday at Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines. There, they teach the importance of interviewing the right doctor and how to do it, plus the health disparities that impact Black women. 

UnityPoint is a health partner for those meetings, and Mickens-Bolden said at those meetings they have nursing students so the women who attend can get practice and feel comfortable telling their information to a health care provider. 

More information about their health coalition meetings can be found here.

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