Pastors’ wives have long been considered the backbone of African-American churches, influencing decisions made by their husbands, and assisting in nurturing worshippers who seek personal guidance apart from the precious time that pastors can avail themselves.

It is this commitment to both the spiritual and physical health of their communities that is driving nearly three dozen “First Ladies,” or pastors’ wives, to come together for the second year and open their doors to host free medical tests for illnesses that particularly target African Americans and Hispanics.

On Sunday, May 19, a record number of churches in and around the Los Angeles area will simultaneously welcome Walgreens pharmacists and health care providers from HealthCare Partners, the California Department of Public Health and other organizations to perform health screenings for high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, breast cancer and other critical diseases, all free to participants.

Program chairperson Dr. Betty Price, former first lady ofCrenshaw Christian Center of Los Angeles, says the program is crucial to many of her church members.

“Positively affecting the health of our community is our most important platform,” states Price. “Combining with first ladies from multiple churches to create a city-wide health initiative has brought infinite awareness to diseases that plague our communities, and greater opportunities for illness detection and treatment.”

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