National Minority Quality Forum to Host Conversation with Barber and Stylist COVID-19 Vaccine Activists

Dr. Stephen Thomas (far right) with a group of certified health advocates from the Health Advocates in Reach and Research (HAIR) program at the “What Barbers and Stylists Say to Scientists: No Research on Us Without Us” workshop held on December 9, 2019.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 28, 2021)—National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care and Equity (NMQF/SHC) — through its partnership with the Centers for Disease Control to increase awareness and COVID-19 and influenza vaccination in African American and Hispanic communities — has joined forces with barber and hair stylist activists.

On Friday, July 30, “COVID-19 Vaccination: Lessons Learned from Barbers and Stylists” will explore the actions taken by barbers and hair stylists who have been instrumental in reducing COVID-19 cases in vulnerable Black and Hispanic communities by hosting successful vaccine clinics and initiatives in their shops.

Dr. Stephen B. Thomas — professor of Health Policy and Management, director of the Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland, founder of The Health Advocates In-Reach and Research (HAIR) and an NMQF Health Champion — was working on a variety of health initiatives via barber shops pre-pandemic. Now, he has turned his focus to COVID-19 and flu vaccine promotion efforts, which has been recognized by The White House. He will be the lead speaker at the event.

“We now know more than we ever have about how to prevent and manage chronic disease. Now is the time to implement what we know works, and that includes building partnerships across multiple academic disciplines as well as the public and private business sectors,” said Dr. Thomas. “This big push to recognize the barbershops and beauty salons in Black and brown communities as assets to be mobilized is just a blessing.”

Dr. Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D., President of NMQF’s SHC said she is thrilled to work with Dr. Thomas and the CDC to assist African Americans, and the barbers and stylists who serve them, to achieve better health.

“We are working to empower the African American community to understand and promote their own health through vaccination,” she said. “African Americans have suffered vaccine disparities, COVID-19 infection and death, and other vaccine-preventable diseases–through less knowledge, access, social and economic barriers, and discrimination and bias in the health system.”

Register to attend the event here:

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About National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum assists health care providers, professionals, administrators, researchers, policymakers, and community and faith-based organizations in delivering appropriate health care to minority communities. This assistance is based on providing the evidence in the form of science, research, and analysis that will lead to the effective organization and management of system resources to improve the quality and safety of health care for the entire population of the U.S., including minorities. For more information, please visit

About Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world. Learn more at