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County’s African American Health Program Expands COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine Preregistration Support

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 8, 2021

The African American Health Program (AAHP) has moved its targeted COVID-19 testing efforts indoors to partner with Black faith organizations and Black Greek letter organizations. To help encourage COVID-19 testing, AAHP is providing participants with free on-site COVID-19 services such as vaccine preregistration, groceries, other wrap around services and a pandemic “swag” box containing masks, gloves, a digital thermometer, and hand sanitizer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 testing helps slow the transmission of the disease and AAHP provides COVID-19 testing at multiple locations weekly, targeting Black residents.   

“More than 3,400 Montgomery County residents contracted COVID-19 last month. It remains critical for people to know their status so they can protect their loved ones and others,” said Halisha S. Hunter, RN, BSN, MBA, COVID response lead for AAHP.

Since its efforts began in November 2020, AAHP has tested 6,000 residents for COVID-19, with the goal of testing 15,000 African American residents by July 2021. The tests are noninvasive and self-administered, and no appointments are needed.

A short video, “Don’t Stress, Take the Test,” shares the unique AAHP COVID-19 testing experience with the help of AAHP’s community partner, Fit Fathers. The campaign also includes a celebrity public service announcement from sportscaster James Brown, host of The James Brown Show, The NFL Today on CBS Sports and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports Network and NFL Network.

The program outreach provides participants with access to wellness services, mental health counseling, referrals to Black physicians, and other resources.

“The overall negative impact of the virus on the Black community as well as the introduction of multiple new strains of the disease are vital reminders to get tested and to know your status,” said Hunter. This initiative also assists residents who need to preregister for a vaccine appointment.

For detailed information regarding the free testing locations and resources, please visit

The African American Health Program, funded by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, is working to eliminate health disparities and improve the number and quality of years of life for African Americans and residents of African descent in Montgomery County.  Visit the AAHP website to learn more about their efforts.   

The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) serves as the sponsor for the AAHP’s Targeted COVID-19 Response. With more than 20 programs throughout the National Capital Region, NCCF’s goal is to empower the larger community to ensure that all its children, youth and families receive the resources they need to become successful and contributing members. Visit NCCF’s website for more information.

Fit Fathers provides fathers, mentors, and role models with the tools needed to involve their families in fitness pursuits, integrated wellness strategies, and smart living while celebrating the true meaning of fatherhood. “Stay active, eat clean, and energize your life” is its transformative mantra. Learn more at the Fit Fathers 

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Release ID: 21-163
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6507