#BlackHealthNow: an initiative to highlight and address the grievous healthcare inequities that plague Black Americans.

5 min readMar 11, 2020


Presented by TBWA\WorldHealth: a global healthcare communications agency that leverages the power of disruption to create behavior-changing ideas.

#BlackHealthNow: Wallye Holloway and Walter T. Geer III of TBWA\WorldHealth

#BlackHealthNow is an initiative to address ongoing racial bias within the healthcare system that is leading to poor health outcomes for Black Americans. Black Americans are at greater risk for preventable medical complications and death, solely because of the color of their skin.

During Black History Month 2020, Black employees at TBWA\WorldHealth filmed and shared personal stories of racial bias in the healthcare system to provoke discussion in the U.S. and around the world. This video series was disseminated across major social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Each post included a call to action to share more stories with the hashtag #BlackHealthNow.

The ultimate goal of Black Health Now is to use this awareness to drive advocacy and action. For starters, a comprehensive list of questions that every Black American should take to their medical appointments was created and promoted at BlackHealthNow.info . This list can be used by patients or by loved ones who wish to become patient advocates.

Wallye discusses the importance of advocacy and introduces the Questions
Sample question

Future phases will include creating a pledge for doctors and healthcare professionals to sign that lets patients know that they recognize the disparity in outcomes and are dedicated to protecting Black Health Now.

The hope is that this will become a social badge that can be used across platforms, including insurance healthcare provider directories and sites like ZocDoc.

This initiative started on February 18, 2020 during Black History Month on all major social media channels. However, it is a long-term campaign that goes far beyond BHM as part of our outreach to the wider community.

Where to find it:

Linkedin: http://bit.ly/BHN-Linkedin
YouTube: http://bit.ly/BHN-youtube
Facebook: http://bit.ly/BHN-facebook
Instagram: http://bit.ly/BHN-instagram
Twitter: http://bit.ly/BHN-twitter

Here’s one of our 8 Black Health Now stories, from Zaira Zafra, Account Supervisor, in our New York office. The fact: Black Women die from pregnancy-related complications 3x more often than white women:

See all of the stories on YouTube.

Our goal was to ask Black Americans to share their own personal healthcare stories, either as videos or text posts and post them on the social media channel of their choice with the hashtag #BlackHealthNow.

When COVID-19 struck, we paused the campaign while we, and the world, came to grips with the emerging pandemic. But it quickly became clear that the healthcare disparity we saw before COVID was magnified dramatically during COVID-19. Black Americans were the first cases and accounted for a disproportionate number of casualties in many hospitals around the country. Even now, the highest rates of infection, hospitalization and death continue to be in the Black community.

Black Health Now became more relevant than ever. We reactivated the campaign with a new purpose: to educate Black Americans with reliable information about the crisis; then provide simple, actionable ways they could protect themselves and stay as healthy as possible, mentally, physically and spiritually

With everyone “sheltering in place”, we realized that both experts and viewers were at home looking for ways to create and consume content. We interviewed medical professionals on the front lines to bust myths and share tips people could use to prevent illness. We talked to celebrity chefs and athletes, who helped craft diet and exercise content to help Black Americans get healthy, stay fit and decrease their co-morbidities. We talked to political leaders about the policy initiatives needed to close inequality gaps and drive better health the Black community. We also created panels with a wide range of experts to talk about the most important issues facing Black Health.

All Livestreams are archived on YouTube: https://bit.ly/BHNcovid19

One of our first COVID-19 Livestreams
Exercise routine by Ashley Everett, Beyonce’s Dance Captain
Healthy eating by Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Panel on Black Infant Mortality
Panel on the Covid Vaccine
Panel on Weathering: Racism by Erosion

The Black Health Now initiative is brought to you by senior leaders at TBWA\WorldHealth:

Wallye Holloway,
Associate Managing Partner

Walter T. Geer III,
SVP, Group Creative Director \ Digital Experience + Innovation

Bryan Gaffin,
Executive Creative Director
WildType, A TBWA\WorldHealth Company

The Team: Wallye Holloway, Bryan Gaffin and Walter T. Geer III

Download team image in hi-res. Photo by Craig Geller Photography.

More about TBWA\WorldHealth, the Disruption® Company:

We believe that in order to create a healthier world, we must disrupt the attitudes and behaviors that currently shape it. Our goal is to be a one-of-a-kind partner to the world’s most ambitious health and wellness brands; eagerly pushing together to make the world a healthier, more compassionate place.

We are TBWA\WorldHealth, The Disruption® Company.

Find out more about TBWA\WorldHealth.

You can find out more about this project by clicking the links below to download the Press Release, Images & Videos.

Download the Press Release.

The nine video stories are available for download HERE.

Some of the elements we use are the devastating facts themselves. 2 shown below. Download all of the facts: JPGs and PDFs

Example Fact: Trust
Example: Pregnancy Complications

For further press inquiries, please see below:

Anaka Kobzev
Global Head of Communications
anaka.kobzev AT tbwaworld.com

Walter T Geer III
SVP, Group Creative Director \ Digital Experience + Innovation
walter.geer AT tbwaworldhealth.com

Wallye Holloway
Associate Managing Partner
wallye.holloway AT tbwaworldhealth.com

Bryan Gaffin
Executive Creative Director
WildType, A TBWA\WorldHealth Company
bgaffin AT wildtypehealth.com