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Building Connections

Barbers, like bartenders, hear it all from their customers. Well, almost all. Cleveland barber Waverly Willis, the owner/operator of two Urban Kutz barbershops, noticed a trend: As much as the men in his chair would tell him about their personal lives, they rarely talked about their health.

“Oh, they’ll cheer on the Cavs and bellyache about the Browns. And they like to talk about women,” Waverly says. “But I decided we needed to change the dialogue a bit, and have some serious conversations, too. It can make a difference.”

Waverly regularly started offering his patrons free blood pressure screenings and healthcare advice from volunteer nurses — right in his barbershops. Others do the same, as part of their affiliation with the non-profit Urban Barber Association that Waverly founded.

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