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About Us

AARTH Photo Gallery

The AARTH Team

The AARTH Board

The AARTH Mission
To build the capacity of churches and faith-based institutions that serve people of African descent through education, access to resources and self-advocacy for better health care services.

AARTH Goals
1. Increase health care awareness and knowledge among people of African descent
2. Promote responsible health choices and practices
3. Build the capacity of health ministry collaborations.

African Americans Reach and Teach Health [AARTH]
is a faith-based capacity building nonprofit organization established to respond to HIV/AIDS and other major health issues affecting people of African descent.

African Americans Reach and Teach Health (AARTH) Ministry was established in September 2002 by Reverend Mary Diggs-Hobson, Reginald Diggs and Dr. DeMaurice Moses. The motivation was to help bridge the gap in health disparities by providing health education and training capacity building services to churches /mosques and other faith-based organizations that serve people of African descent. AARTH promotes collaborative partnerships with churches /mosques, faith and community-based organizations, health and social service providers, and government agencies.

AARTH Believes
that God has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness. We have the authority, gifts and ability to change practices and situations that create negative health impacts and develop relationships, systems, and environments that nurture and sustain good health. 2 Peter 1:3

We Value
health education and practices that empower African Americans to make wise decisions for maintaining natural and spiritual health. 3 John 1:2

Our Vision
is to see African Americans living healthier and longer lives supported by thriving, self-sustaining, and culturally centered community-based health networks. We see adults and youth making informed decisions about their health and sexual practices. We see individuals using their abilities to serve each other and participate in the legislative processes that determine health care policies and funding.

Why AARTH?

Disease morbidity and mortality is staggering in the African American communities across America.

The Centers for Disease Control have summarized recent findings on Health Disparities Experienced by Black or African Americans in the United States.

This is clearly evident when it comes to HIV/AIDS where African Americans represented 54% of all new HIV/AIDS cases reported in 2002. In King County African Americans represent 6% of the general population and 15% of the HIV/AIDS cases.

  • The prevalence of diabetes among African Americans is about 70% higher than among white Americans.
  • Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African Americans as for white Americans.
  • The five-year survival rate for cancer among African Americans diagnosed for the period 198- to 1992 was about 44% compared with 59% for white Americans.
  • At birth, the average life expectancy for African Americans is 71.8 years, compared to 77.4 years for white Americans.
These and other health disparities continue to persist in the African American community, and in some instances, are continuing to increase. This state of affairs led the American Medical Association to write the “Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care” and to adopt the recommendations of its Board of Trustees, “that the American Medical Association maintain a position of zero tolerance toward racially and culturally based disparities in care.” According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, ethnic and racial minorities are not benefiting from the advances in medical technology and preventive medicine. Because of these parities the Clinton Administration adopted strategies for Healthy People 2010 to eliminate racial and ethnic health gaps in six areas, and created a new National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

According to a May, 2002 publication by the Washington State Department of Health, black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Despite attempts to bridge the health disparities gap through public awareness campaigns that stress early detection and prevention, the African American community remains under-served and under-educated about the diseases that affect them as demonstrated by the following health issues.
  • HIV/AIDS: African Americans represent 12% of the U.S. population and 54% of all new HIV cases in 2002 and 47% of all new AIDS cases.
  • Heart Disease: African Americans rank 2nd in the state and nation to White Americans.
  • Diabetes: The prevalence of diabetes among African Americans is about 70% higher than among White Americans.
  • Cancer: The five-year survival rate for cancer among African Americans diagnosed for the period 198- to 1992 was about 44% compared with 59% for White Americans.
  • Lung Disease: 24% of all asthma deaths are in African Americans – 31 % higher that Whites. More than 45,000 African Americans die from smoking-related diseases.
  • Infant mortality rates: Twice as high for African Americans as for White Americans.
  • Life expectancy: At birth, the average life expectancy for African Americans is 71.8 years, compared to 77.4 years for White Americans.

For information on a lot of different health issues among African American communities, from many sources, go to Medline Plus African American Health pages.


Program Strategies

Culturally Relevant Education and Training: Develop culturally relevant train-the-trainer prevention and care curriculum and conduct classes, workshops, forums and conferences.

Support Systems: Provide technical assistance services for strengthening and building infrastructure and skills within faith-based health ministries, collaborations and coalitions.

Advocacy: Develop and implement strategies for engaging people of African descent in the legislative process to advocate for their health care needs, issues, resources and funding at the city, state and federal level.

Accessible Resources: Facilitate referrals, linkages and connections to culturally appropriate social and health care resources, including traditional/alternative care and online services.



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