Baltimore barbershop offers COVID-19 screenings, health information for men

You may not think of a barbershop as a place to get a preliminary coronavirus…

You may not think of a barbershop as a place to get a preliminary coronavirus screening, but one shop in northeast Baltimore is doing just that.

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There is a partnership happening between barbers and the men who trust them the most.

The sweet sound of a fresh buzz is familiar to most men, but maybe not so much the sight of health information. It’s what customers see when they walk into Shanile Shakoor’s barbershop, Nile Style.

“The conversation changed, you know. People began talking about fitness, they talked about calories and carbohydrates and different things of that nature. So, it’s definitely been an eye-opening experience for Live Chair as well as us,” Shakoor said.

Shakoor’s shop offers more than haircuts. He teamed up with Live Chair to offer classes, screenings and health information for men.

Now with the coronavirus pandemic, they’re taking it a step further – a new partnership with LifeBridge Health for coronavirus support, they say, makes sense.

“If you engage folks into people who they trust like a barber in a community that they trust and who are already giving advice on health care that you can get much better patient involvement and health awareness about their health issues, and you get them into the health system that’s going to make them healthier,” said Daniel Durand, of LifeBridge Health.

LifeBridge is providing personal protective equipment to barbershops that joined the team. They want to reach a community they say feels safer in this chair.

“The stories that I’ve heard that would come back to me, clients would come back and say, ‘Hey, you know I went to my doctor, visited my doctor and I’m glad you are doing this. I haven’t gone in so long.’ The stories of people actually taking care of themselves and so we are meeting me where they are at the barbershop,” Shakoor said.

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