ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT)
announced today it has entered into a partnership with Earvin "Magic"
Johnson to address health disparities in minority communities through a
multi-year, nationwide education effort. The partnership will create an
opportunity to have meaningful dialogue to address health disparities among
minorities, with a special emphasis on HIV prevention, testing, awareness
and disease management.
Minority communities are currently disproportionately affected by
certain disease states including: HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, and hypertension. By 2010, one of every three people in the
United States will identify themselves as a racial/ethnic minority.
"Minority communities are faced with challenging health obstacles as a
result of social and cultural factors -- but we can change that," said
Johnson. "I am thrilled to be teaming up with Abbott to make a difference
and build awareness among vulnerable populations about health risks to
which they may be socially disadvantaged, to share my personal story, and
to have an open dialogue about important health facts that must not be
overlooked. Above all though, I hope those at risk take advantage of
community resources to help keep them and their loved ones healthy."
Positive Intervention Begins with Education
From the beginning of the epidemic, almost one million people have been
diagnosed with HIV in the United States, and 40 percent of them are
African-American. The rate of HIV diagnoses in African-American males is
approximately 10 times the rate of Caucasians and almost three times the
rate of Hispanics. Additionally, HIV disproportionately affects
African-American women, with a diagnoses rate 23 times that of Caucasian
women and is the number one cause of death among African-American women
between the ages of 25 and 34.
Education and empowerment are two crucial factors to address health
disparities in minority communities. Through this partnership, Johnson,
along with the Magic Johnson Foundation, will join Abbott to create
educational platforms in cities with a high prevalence of HIV infection.
Johnson will share his inspirational story of living with HIV, and
communities will have the opportunity to seek free, confidential HIV
testing and counseling through testing events. Attendees also will have the
opportunity to have their blood pressure, peak flow levels, and glucose
levels checked -- these tests are often indicators of the onset and
activity of hypertension, asthma, and diabetes. The 10-city tour kicks off
April 10, in Chicago.
"Abbott is proud to initiate a long-term partnership with Mr. Johnson
and the Magic Johnson Foundation. As a leader in the African-American
community, he has made a positive impact on the health care and social
issues affecting minority communities," said Jodi Devlin, vice president of
marketing and sales, Specialty Pharmaceuticals, at Abbott. "Abbott is
committed to providing solutions to today's pressing health care issues,
and working together with the Magic Johnson Foundation was a natural fit.
We look forward to partnering with Mr. Johnson to make a real difference in
About the Magic Johnson Foundation
The Magic Johnson Foundation was established in 1991 as a
single-disease organization that worked to raise funds for community-based
organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. The
Foundation has since responded to the growing need to address all aspects
of our youth's lives by expanding its mission. This expanded mission
emphasizes the Foundation's focus on supporting community-based
organizations and development programs that serve the health, educational
and social needs of those residing in minority communities.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the
discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceuticals and
medical products, including devices and diagnostics. The company employs
more than 60,000 people and markets its products in more than 130
Abbott has been a leader in HIV/AIDS research since the early years of
the epidemic. In 1985, the company developed the first licensed test to
detect HIV antibodies in the blood and remains a leader in HIV diagnostics.
Abbott retroviral and hepatitis tests are used to screen more than half of
the world's donated blood supply.
Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the
company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com .