Ruby Garner is a health educator for Health People, an organization in New York’s South Bronx that provides services to people in need. She is an adviser to the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health and partners with her church, First Corinthian Baptist in Manhattan, to provide medical care to its lower-income neighbors.
1. What inspired you to partner with your church? Being able to give to my community, which has a lot of disparities, and deliver information and resources to people who need them is my passion. Working at Health People, I do presentations on behalf of the state of New York on diabetes prevention, health care for women, HIV, how to establish and maintain healthy relationships, and other topics. It made sense to take what I already do and bring it to my church.
2. What do communities in the South Bronx need? There needs to be education on how to find resources. There are a lot of people who still aren’t aware that they are at risk for diabetes, heart attack, HIV, Hepatitis C, high cholesterol, etc. I want to reach them. A lot of people in my neighborhood are undocumented and homeless. There are people who don’t have information that can benefit them, and they’re afraid to seek information, out of fear that they will be targeted or penalized in some way. I try to reassure them and get them the help they need.
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