Courtesy Athena Williams

More than 100 community, business and religious leaders will convene in Austin to design a plan to maximize the benefits from the Affordable Care Act. The “Sound the Alarm” Health Conference is a high-level discussion on the State of Health of Austin and on how the community can leverage the Affordable Care Act to fight and prevent the diseases that especially plague our community.

The purpose of this event is to determine the top health challenges facing the Austin Community, coordinate the efforts of local healthcare providers to prevent chronic diseases, identify best practices in inner-city healthcare and prepare for the launch of the Affordable Care Act. In observance of National Minority Health Awareness Month, Performing Community Solutions is spearheading a community health action plan focused on educating the public on health policies and enrolling eligible persons in County Care and other public health programs.

Mortality rates from chronic diseases for Austin Community residents far outpace the rest of Chicago. Death rates from prostate cancer among Austin men are almost double the Chicago average, infant mortality rates among Black Chicagoans is 13.6 per one thousand births while the City average is only 7.8; obesity, HIV infection and coronary heart disease all show higher prevalence in African American communities, particularly Austin. The time for prevention is now before the plague of chronic disease overruns the already stretched health resources of the Austin Community.

WHO: Performing Community Solutions in partnership with representatives from the Chicago Campaign for Better Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, Mt. Sinai, Loretto, West Suburban hospitals, Family Circle Care and PCC clinics, elected officials and community residents

WHAT: A discussion on the State of Austin Community Health and a plan for chronic disease prevention

WHEN: Tuesday, April 30, 2013; 8:00 AM Registration & Networking; 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM Conference

WHERE: Amberg Hall, 1140 N. Lamon Street, Chicago, IL

WHY: Every life is precious and access to quality healthcare is a human right