With financial support from the Cigna Foundation, the HAIR network is focusing on promoting colorectal cancer screening and increasing awareness about colorectal cancer, a leading cause of disability and premature death in the African American community.   Colorectal Cancer (CRC) starts in the colon or rectum, and is the second deadliest cancer in the US. African Americans have the highest rates of colorectal cancer and are the most likely to die from the disease.  Early detection through screening, including colonoscopy, has been proven to save lives.  However, far too many people from African American backgrounds are not being screened.

In March of 2015, the clinical team from Capital Digestive Care (CDC) joined the M-CHE and Cigna in their campaign to address disparities in colon cancer screening among African Americans in Prince George's County by offering tment to offer colonoscopy screenings to people reached through program.

The specific objectives of the HAIR colorectal cancer screening project include:

  1. Expansion of the HAIR network of barbershops and beauty salons in Prince George’s County, especially neighborhoods in the Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ)located in zipcode 20743.
  2. Provid fision of formal training to barbers and stylists as Lay Health Advocates who are willing to promote colorectal cancer screening to their clients.
  3. Training a team of Genetic Counselors to become more culturally confident so they can conduct Family Health Histories (FHH) with people in the HAIR barber shops and beauty salons.
  4. Establishment of a sustainable model to transform both the barber shops and beauty salons into health promotion and disease prevention venues where medical and public health professionals are invited to deliver life saving services.


  • 10 owner-operated barbershops ( 8 barber shops and 2 beauty salons) have joined the HAIR network
  • 40 barbers/hair stylists have completed the Lay Health Advocate training on colorectal cancer
  • Two workshops will be convened to train barbers/stylists (5 hours total)
  • 25 participants per shop to be recruited for health promotion about colorectal cancer
  • Eligible participants: African Americans 45 years or older with no previous diagnosis of colorectal cancer
  • Participants will participate in a family health history conducted by genetic counselors. Follow-ups will be done at one, six, and twelve months to determine any change in knowledge and/or screening behavior

For more information on the project and our parnters, click on the links below:

The Health Advocates In-Reach and Research Campaign (HAIR) Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screeninghttp://sph.umd.edu/sites/default/files/images/che/icon_pdf.gif

Maryland Center for Health Equity & Cigna Announce Partnership to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening through Prince George’s County Barbershops and Beauty Salons http://sph.umd.edu/sites/default/files/images/che/icon_pdf.gif

Capital Digestive Care joins M-CHE and Cigna to Provide Cancer Screening