Annette Grotheer is dedicated to addressing health disparities and improving outcomes for African-American men. “We need to reach out to underserved communities across the country,” said Grotheer, a fourth-year M.D./M.P.H. student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who launched The Shop Docs, a nonprofit that brings health education and screenings to barbershops in African-American neighborhoods.
Recognizing her leadership, Forbes magazine recently named Grotheer to its prestigious “30 Under 30” list in the health care category. Every year, Forbes identifies 30 of the most promising game-changers under the age of 30 in 20 different industries from thousands of nominations. Grotheer was the only African-American candidate chosen for the health care category.
“Annette is an amazing student, and Forbes recognition is a testament to the impact she is already having on the patients in our community,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., professor of medicine, Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education, and senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education. “The future of medicine is bright with transformational leaders like Annette.”
Grotheer’s non-profit started off as her M.P.H. capstone project, and has blossomed into a nationwide network that aims to improve the health of African-American men while preventing the chronic health problems associated with hypertension. “We want to break down minority distrust of the health care community by partnering with the most trusted member of the black community, the local barber,” Grotheer said.
Along with a Miami barbershop that offers hypertension screenings through University of Miami volunteers, The Shop Docs is adding a screening site for HIV/AIDS. Other program locations include Philadelphia and Patterson, New Jersey. Grotheer said communities in Chicago, Boston and Texas have reached out as well.
“While being named to the Forbes list is a personal honor, I hope it brings greater awareness to the issue of health disparities in minority communities,” she added. “We need to start conversations about the importance of wellness and prevention, so fewer patients will require chronic care for dangerous conditions.”