Health Care Reform Will Not Translate to Greater Access to Care for Tennessee’s Minority Populations

New BlueCross Health Institute White Paper reveals reform will increase coverage, but won’t improve access to care, outcomes

Despite reform, minorities in Tennessee will continue to have less access to health care services and poorer health outcomes in general than other Tennesseans, according to the latest study by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health InstituteSM.

The study entitled Health Care Reform: the Impact on Minority Populations in Tennessee looks at the barriers to care for minorities that will persist despite the expanded coverage and services that health care reform promotes.

“What we’ve found through this study is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will most likely have a favorable outcome on access to insurance coverage,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Steven Coulter, president of the institute. “However, it will not necessarily translate to actual access to medical care for several reasons.”

One of the purposes of the PPACA is to reduce or eliminate the disparity in coverage by race that currently exists. However, as the research finds, minority populations in Tennessee tend to be concentrated in geographic areas where health care facilities are already operating at capacity. This increased demand for care will lead to longer wait times at those doctors’ offices accepting new patients. In particular, access to care in the west and east regions will be of greatest concern.

Favorable and unfavorable areas for minority care in Tennessee can be tracked by county, or down to ZIP-code level, through the new Health Care Access Index developed by the Health Institute. To see a short video about the study, click here.

This is the third report issued by the institute, a division of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, designed to provide decision makers a fact-based, intellectual framework for public discussions on health care policy matters. The report is available on the Tennessee Health Institute section of the BlueCross website.

Future research topics and presentations of the Tennessee Health Institute will focus on health care reimbursement variations, risk adjustment, and best-practice answers regarding the health status of Tennesseans.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at


Natural Hair Care Stylist Launches Hair and Wellness Expo

The hair care industry is a lucrative business with consumers who care about the health of their hair and their hairstyles. In the African-American community more individuals are returning to chemical free options for their hair, such as loose natural styling and hair locking services. A local hairstylist is hosting the 1st Annual Naturals in the City Hair and Wellness Expo in Memphis, TN in July of this year.

Takeisha Berry-Brooks is the owner of A Natural Affair Beauty Lounge and founder of Metamorphosis Natural Hair Care Systems™ and is the host of the expo. The 1st Annual Naturals in the City Hair and Wellness Expo for professionals and consumers who want to learn more about natural hair care techniques, natural hair care products and holistic ways of healthy living are invited to attend this event on Saturday, July 28, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be held at Esplanade Memphis, 901 Cordova Station, in Cordova, TN, off of Germantown Parkway and Macon Road.

“I want to make sure that not only men and women are empowered, but educated in the choice that they’re making to go natural,” said Berry-Brooks, a natural hairstylist for 12 years. While most women are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, some are clueless in versatile styling options and correct products choices for their hair type, she said.

“When I decided to pursue natural hair care, I had a lot of goals for myself,” said Berry-Brooks, whose full-service, natural hair care salon specializes in transitioning women from relaxed hairstyles to more of a natural, chemical-free look. “I knew putting on an expo in Memphis would be different and out of the box.”

According to industry trends, more than 250,000 businesses in the United States are classified as beauty salons. Berry-Brooks says the Expo is an opportunity for business owners in the tri-state area to sell themselves and push their brand.

The Expo will include entertainment, natural hair seminars, wellness seminars and vendors marketing their products and services. Consumers also will be introduced to natural skin care products, henna tattoos and healthy food options.

A crowd of 500 or more people from as far as Nashville, Jackson, Miss., Little Rock, and Jackson, Tenn., are expected to attend, Berry-Brooks said. Special guests, naturalists and wellness entrepreneurs are among those scheduled to appear.

For more information on the Expo visit the website at  or contact Takeisha Berry-Brooks at 901-320-6300 or email

About Takeisha Berry-Brooks

Takeisha Berry-Brooks is no stranger to the hair care industry. After receiving her cosmetology license from the Hair Design School in 1999, she soon turned her focus to natural hair care after encountering many of her clients with damaged hair from chemical treatments and bonding weave misuse. In 2000, she attended the World of Natural Hair Health and Beauty Show and also received a certification as a consultant and stylist for Sisterlooks™, a natural hair management system that allows women with tightly textured hair to take advantage of a wide range of hairstyles without having to alter the natural texture of their hair. Industry professionals that Berry-Brooks trained under include Lisa Akbari, Fatou Jangum, Taliah Wajid and Dr. Joanne Cornwell.

The Walter Bailey Law Firm Launches New Advertising Campaign

A law firm that has been in the Mid-South for over three decades is launching a new advertising campaign this week. The Walter Bailey Law Firm begins a new branding campaign that features TV, radio, social media, print ads and a new website. The “Want Justice?” campaign builds on a legal legacy and brand that Attorney Bailey and his family have built over the years.

The firm founded by Attorney Walter Bailey has focused over the years on wrongful death, medical malpractice, job injuries and vehicle accident law suits.

“We have done well over the years with limited advertising, but recently decided to launch a new campaign to let consumers know that The Walter Bailey Law Firm is a local firm that wants to help them seek justice in their case,” said Walter Bailey. “I am known as someone who will fight for my clients and we are going to build on that brand through this new advertising campaign.”

Bailey has recovered millions for his clients and has presented a historic landmark case, Tennessee vs. Garner, before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Walter Bailey Law Firm is located at 100 N. Main, Suite 3002, Memphis, TN 38103. The website is and Facebook: Walter Bailey.


Black Women Philanthropists Provide Funds for Local Groups

Black Women Philanthropists Provide Funds for Local Groups

The Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis, founded in 2005 by nine African-American women, presents Sister Lakshmie Napagoda (center) with a $5,000 check for her charitable group, DeNeuville Learning Center, at an awards luncheon on April 20. Two other groups were awarded funds as well. Presenting Napagoda with the check were Carolyn Hardy, Belinda Watkins, Edith Kelly Green, the honoree, Mary McDaniel, Nelda Burroughs and Deidre Malone. (Photo by Wiley Henry / The Carter Malone Group)

Three community groups requesting funds from the Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis (PBWM) were awarded grants during an awards luncheon on April 20 at Bleu Restaurant & Lounge in the Westin Hotel in Downtown Memphis.

DeNeuville Learning Center (House of the Good Shepherd of Memphis), an organization that guides women from all backgrounds and cultures in learning the skills needed to make positive choices for themselves and their families, received $5,000. Sister Lakshmie Napagoda, who founded DeNeuville in 1998, accepted the award.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Memphis Chapter was awarded $2,500. The organization of progressive African-American women advocates and promotes other women of color in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment. Bettye L. Boone, the coalition’s president, accepted the award.

Morris Brown accepted the award of $2,175 for his group, the Memphis Blackhawks Aviation Association. The nonprofit targets underprivileged, urban and inner-city youth that are in desperate need of clear direction and positive role models in their lives.

The Blackhawks also exposes young men and women to all aspects of the aviation industry, said Brown, the group’s president.
The PBWM was founded in 2005 by nine professional and civic-minded African-American women with a vested interest in philanthropy. Their charitable contributions have always centered on children, education, and self-sufficiency.

The members are Debra E. Evans of ViaSys Technology, Inc.; Nelda Burroughs of First Choice Sales & Marketing Group; Attorney Monice Hagler of The Law Office of Monice Moore Hagler; Carolyn Hardy of Chism Hardy Enterprises; Edith Kelly-Green of The KGR Group; Deidre Malone of The Carter Malone Group; Mary McDaniel, State Alcoholic and Beverage Commission; LaShell Vaughn of MLGW; and Belinda Watkins of FedEx Corp.