2019 Annual Chicago First Ladies

Walk and Run

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sponsored by:​

First Ladies Health Initiative:

We’ve Made the News!

American Journal of Nursing

AJN On the Cover

Szulecki, Diane, Editor


AJN The American Journal of Nursing:

February 2019

Volume 119 - Issue 2 - p 18

doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000553198.06095.f2

On this month's cover, a nursing student performs a blood pressure screening at the seventh annual Los Angeles First Ladies Health Day in Pasadena, California.


The event was organized by the First Ladies Health Initiative—an association of more than 200 black and Hispanic pastors’ wives (“First Ladies”) representing cross-denominational congregations across the country.


The First Ladies partner with health care organizations and volunteers in their communities to offer free health screenings and education through local churches. (The group considers the church “the nucleus for large-scale health and wellness outreach.”) In Los Angeles, for instance, more than 40 churches have hosted First Ladies–sponsored health events. Their efforts focus on tackling health problems that disproportionately affect minorities, including hypertension, diabetes, breast cancer, HIV, and heart disease.


As discussed in this month's Original Research CE article, the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease and hypertension is higher in the black population than in the white population—and the presence of vascular risk factors at midlife may influence cognitive outcomes in older adulthood. Elizabeth Devore and colleagues analyzed health data from black women to investigate this possible association. To learn about their findings, read “Midlife Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia in Relation to Cognitive Function Later in Life in Black Women.”—Diane Szulecki, editor


Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Featured First Lady: DR. SHALONDA K. CRAWFORD, PSY.D

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Shalonda Crawford continues to defy the odds. After becoming pregnant and giving birth at the age of 15, despite enormous mountains and valleys, victories and defeats, her will and determination to graduate high school on time would be one of many hurdles for the young mom. The challenge would propel her to study hard and stay focused while juggling the overwhelming responsibility of motherhood. And she did it! She graduated on time and proudly marched in her cap and gown with her own graduating high school class.

After high school, Dr. Crawford spent several years working in entertainment as a back-up singer, solo artist and a music journalist. Finding little fulfillment in those areas, Dr. Crawford decided to take on a few part-time and volunteer jobs working to assist youth, young mothers and underprivileged individuals struggling to make their way back into the mainstream of life, something she was all too familiar with having been a teen mother. It was there where she experienced her highest level of compassion and met head on with her purpose.

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