Larry Antonucci  |  M.D., MBA is the president & CEO of Lee Health

Research and history show that African Americans are less likely to seek medical care and are often cautious of going to the doctor. With this in mind, Lee Health teamed up with the Florida Department of Health, community partners and Dunbar’s Utopia Unisex Salon to bring care, screenings and support to a familiar, more comfortable setting. Known as Barbershop Wellness, the objectives of this program are to improve the health of our community, to make sure that everyone receives helpful information, and to help our community members get prompt, efficient, compassionate medical care.

Through the Barbershop Wellness program, community volunteers trained by Lee Health offer health tips and services, including:

  • Educational information about specific health needs
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Assistance with connecting to a primary care provider
  • Consultation with a pharmacist and/or physician as available

In addition to screenings and support, one Saturday a month, the program focuses on different and specific areas of health and wellness. The August program was held earlier this month and focused on plant-based diets. Next month, on Sept. 10, from 10 a.m.-noon, the Barbershop Wellness team will share information about avoiding risky substances and behaviors, and on Oct. 1 (from 10 a.m.-noon), the focus is on positive social connections.

The Barbershop Wellness program harnesses the social and cultural capital of Utopia, which is a staple and has been a pillar of the Dunbar community for more than 30 years. This setting allows the health outreach and support to be more intentional. People are more receptive to information when they are comfortable, and that feeling of comfort has made the program successful.

For more information, contact Utopia Unisex Salon at 239-337-7574.

More: Lee Health: Surgical Optimization Center care team coaches patients toward safe surgeries

Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA is the president & CEO of Lee Health, Southwest Florida’s major destination for health care offering acute care, emergency care, rehabilitation and diagnostic services, health and wellness education, and community outreach and advocacy programs. Visit to learn more.

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