Eleven community leaders are training to become More Heart Ambassadors for Floyd, volunteering to raise awareness about cardiovascular health through community programs and outreach.
These trained ambassadors will help Floyd address health care disparities surrounding cardiovascular care that exist in northwest Georgia, particularly in the African American community. The More Heart ambassadors are:
- Glenda Allen – retired educator
- Sherica Bailey – Owner, Wraps Styling Salon
- The Rev. Tony Davis – Pastor, Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ in Cedartown
- Phillip Edge – Leadership Development Consultant, Edge and Associates
- The Honorable Harry Harvey – Mayor, Summerville
- Beedie Haywood – Owner, Signature Styles Barber Shop
- Corey Pitts – Owner and Personal Trainer, CMP Training
- Yashika Pitts – Owner, Bridge of Rome Personal Care Home
- Vondell Ringer – Assistant Principal, Armuchee High School
- Greg Shropshire – Coordinator, Rome EnVision Center
- Charles Smith – educator at Rome City Schools and CEO of Building Positive Families
These ambassadors are committed to learning about heart disease risk factors, signs and symptoms of heart disease, and local health resources. They will share their knowledge with others with the intent of creating a healthier community.
Tashia Twyman, who helped Floyd recruit the ambassadors, said it was important to find people who could reach different parts of the community.
“We wanted people who come in contact with different groups," Twyman said. “One ambassador is a hairdresser (Sherica Bailey), and she sees ladies from the age of 5 to 96 every day, which is great.
“Also we have one who is a personal trainer (Corey Pitts), and he reaches a really different segment of the population," Twyman added.
Charles Smith said sharing his personal story helps him talk to others about the importance of being proactive about their health. Smith said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age, and fortunately, because he had already been seeking care, he is alive to talk about it.
“I tell folks they need to make sure they get checkups, see their doctor and make it a habit. Get your blood work done, get a physical," Smith said. “People need to know what resources we have available in our community. We have a lot of people leaving this world who shouldn't be."
Greg Shropshire said getting the message out to those who need to hear it is going to require persistence and hard work.
“We will need to get out and meet people where they are," Shropshire said. “This really has to be a grassroots effort. We can't just rely on traditional ways of reaching people."