February 2022

Black Health Chronicle

Understanding Alzheimer’s in the Black Community

The second edition of the Black Health Chronicle is launching at an extraordinary time in American history, the period we celebrate Black History Month (BHM). In its 44th rotation, BHM 2022 focuses on Health and Wellness. We celebrate the legacy of our medical practitioners, birth workers, doulas, nurses, community health workers, and educators throughout Washington state.

In addition to celebrating BHM and the impact we have on the medical world, we also raise awareness about diseases that plague our communities such as Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease listed as the most common cause of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly six million people have been diagnosed with the disease that continues to pose significant public health challenges to caregivers, families, and healthcare workers.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It is a disease that is irreparable. The key symptoms include losing your memory, wandering off and getting lost, taking longer to complete your daily tasks, increased anxiety and aggression, and trouble handling money. It is the most common cause of dementia among people aged 65 and above. A person who has dementia permanently loses their ability to think and remember things, and early diagnosis and supportive care can significantly improve one’s quality of life.

Even though the white population makes up for most of those with Alzheimer’s, the African American community is about two times more likely than whites to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias due to late diagnosis.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, research has shown that throughout the life course, prevention efforts may potentially delay or prevent a third of dementia cases. These include engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading books and playing chess. Additionally, try to avoid stress, depression, head trauma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight gain in midlife and beyond to reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Most importantly, engaging in regular physical exercise, quality sleep, avoiding smoking, maintaining good heart health in later life, and including vitamin C in your diet serve as protective factors against Alzheimer’s.

For resources and information to learn more about the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and to get help for yourself and/or loved ones click here.

Editorial Team Writers: Rael Odengo, DeeSha Connor, Michealea Lemons
Reviewers: Christymarie Jackson, Remeka Jones, Kathleen Meehan
Additional Contributors: Department of Health Black & African American Employee Resource Group, Fathiya Abdi, Marci Getz

COVID-19: Top Things You Should Know

  • Make sure your mask protects you and others from COVID-19. Check for best fit, protection, and comfort.
  • Help Stop the Spread: Download WA Notify and anonymously share if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • Not sure how long to isolate or quarantine? Updated guidelines can be found here.
  • Boosters are recommended for people 12 years and older who have completed their primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Testing Sites & Information

With the increased COVID-19 rates, testing is very important. Here are places to find tests for you and your family (see additional information below).

  • Order a free testing kit from the federal program at CovidTests.gov
  • Order free, rapid COVID-19 tests on the Say Yes! One order per residential address. Each order comes with 4 to 5 rapid tests. Home – Say Yes! To Covid Test (sayyescovidhometest.org) or call 1-800-525-0127; language assistance is available
  • Get a PCR or Antigen test at a testing location near you. Visit this website for a list of locations: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLoc ations
  • Purchase an at-home test at local retailers and pharmacies. Also check with your local library.
  • If you have health insurance, most insurers will now pay you back for up to 8 at-home tests per month, for each person on your plan. Click here for more information.

Community Highlights

We Gon’ Be Alright; A Space For Black Healing is a monthly meeting safe space for the black community where we gather to address the needs of our people, inspire one another, connect and also heal. Black Lives Matter!

To sign up for future events, click Better Health Together Events on Eventbrite.

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
In partnership with Boon Boona Coffee and Dunia Health Clinic, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle hosted “Boosters @ Boon Boona”. Vaccines, boosters, COVID-19 tests and PPE were provided to the community. In all, there were 135 people tested or vaccinated.

Due to the overwhelming need demonstrated during the first event, a second Boosters @ Boon Boona pop-up clinic has been scheduled at the coffee shop’s Renton location at 724 S. 3rd St. on February 21 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Vaccines, booster shots and COVID-19 tests will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested attendees are advised to arrive early, as lines are anticipated.

Washington West African Center

The Washington West African Center, in partnership with the artist Pa Joof, created a series of videos on COVID-19 that reached more than 5,000 members of the African community living in Washington state Not only are they doing the advocacy, but they are also making vaccines accessible to their community members by organizing clinics, providing logistics, transportation and offering incentives.

Check out this youtube videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgvgo-x534w&t=2s and their weekly vaccine clinic at Providence Hospital https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk4nRTYExD4 for their amazing and.
For more information about the organization visit Web: www.wawac.org

Community Ask

We encourage collaboration with our community members for the Black Health Chronicle. Connect with us at BlackHealthChronicle@doh.wa.gov if there are any specific topics you would like us to share. Please note if you are an expert in this area or if you have recommendations for partners to highlight and/or connect with.


Serve on King County Racism Is A Public Health Crisis Gathering Collaborative
You’re invited to join the Racism Is A Public Health Crisis Gathering Collaborative- a group of community members that will take part in a community-designed and led process to equitably spend $25 million of federal funds.

These funds are the beginning steps towards undoing the harms of racism compounded by the pandemic, influencing the county’s next budget cycle, and establishing a long-term vision for King County to become an anti-racist government. Our goal is to fill the collaborative with trusted leaders from communities most harmed by systemic racism and colonialism, brought together by Abigail Echo-Hawk, Dr. Ben Danielson, and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

If you are interested in joining the Gathering Collaborative, share your interest and priorities by filling out this form. For more information, visit the King County website, or contact King County staff at kingcounty.antiracism@gmail.com.

African American Health Board Searching For Short-Term Executive Director. The African American Health Board (AAHB) advocates for anti-racist, accessible, and community-centered approaches to wellbeing. The board works collectively to achieve health equity by impacting policy and systems change, and to demand institutional accountability, with a vision of a community where all African Americans are healthy, thriving, and able to reach their fullest potential.

The short term role would offer support over the next six months, with the potential for a full-time ED role. To apply or for more information send an email to africanamericanhb@gmail.com with a copy of your resume

Job Announcements

DOH is hiring for a Health Equity Zones Communications Consultant (CC4). If you are interested in applying, please click here.

Additional COVID-19 Resources


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) provides COVID-19 vaccine mobile outreach across Washington State. Check out the Care-A-Van website to submit a request form.

Home Based Vaccination Efforts

If you are homebound you can also get assistance. Their caregivers can submit a request through this form: Home Based Vaccination Form (wa.gov) or call 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829- 4357), then press #. Language assistance is available.

Language Access

COVID-19 vaccine information is now available online in 40 languages including:

ASL ኣማርኛ – Amharic العربية – Arabic français – French Afaan Oromo – Oromo Soomaali – Somali Español – SpanishKiswahili – Swahiliትግርኛ Tagalog – Tagalog(təgərəña) – Tigrinya

The Department of Health’s Equity and Social Justice team developed a COVID-19 Transportation Resource Document to support communities and partners with access barriers to vaccines and testing sites. DOH continues to update the document with additional transportation resources on an ongoing basis. If you would like to share additional transportation resources or have questions, please send your contributions and inquiries to BlackHealthChronicle@doh.wa.gov

Building Changes Consent Materials
Our partners at Building Changes created consent flyers for unaccompanied and unhoused youth to access the COVID-19 vaccine.

Northwest Justice Project Minor Health Care Rights Document
Our partners at NW Justice Project updated minor health care rights, a document that explains mature minor doctrine. them by providing youth & partner accessibility reviews. NW Justice Project documents can be found below and will be cross linked to the DOH webpage.

  • When can a minor access health care without parental consent?
  • I’m under 18. When can I get health care without an adult’s consent?

The WashingtonLawHelp.org | provides free legal information and self-help material with information about non-criminal legal problems affecting low-income people in Washington

African Americans Reach & Teach Health Ministry (AARTH)
Do you live in the Kent area? New Beginning Christian Fellowship in Kent, Washington is hosting free COVID-19 Vaccines on site. Please go to the aarth.org to schedule an appointment.