NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Tyronne Walker of the Urban League of Louisiana succinctly explaining why the Urban League has partnered with Ochsner Health to produce The Big Health Event.

According to Walker, “African Americans are attracting diseases and dying way faster at higher clips than white people in Louisiana.”

Dr Yvns Laborde is Ochsner’s Medical Director of Global Health Education and he says the event has an ultimate goal, “We want to be able to empower people so that they can take control of their health. So by arranging a program such as this, it really is about engaging people and also enabling them with the tools that are necessary for them to take the actions that are critical for them to prevent disease.”

To that end, the Big Health Event takes place Saturday, September 17 from 10am-4pm at the Morial Convention Center and it’s much more than your standard health fair. Walker describes it as a health expo meets ESSENCE Empowerment zone.

“You’re going to get an opportunity to do health screenings, learn from fitness trainers how easy it is to do the maintenance of the basic level of physical fitness every single day that will improve outcomes for you,” said Walker.”

For small businesses, there will also be opportunities in the health care industry and a concentration on diet and how it affects your health. Dr. Laborde stands firm on the notion that averting health dangers can happen with education and changes in behavior.

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“Things like hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, kidney failure. A lot of diseases that disproportionately impact African Americans and underserved communities, a lot of them are preventable,” said Laborde.

WGNO is a media partner of The Big Health Event. The event is free and open to the public. To learn more and to register, click here.