The Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP) announced Tuesday that they are expanding membership from its’ Los Angeles base to include African American women doctors, nationally.

Since ABWP’s inception, 26 years ago, the organization has provided free health services such as education, prevention, testing and health screening for diseases most prevalent in the African American community.

The free health services are offered to the community by its member doctors, who go into the community and set up remote offices in an event referred to as the “Wellness Series.” Six Wellness Series are offered throughout the year.

“Before there were discussions of universal healthcare or affordable health care, ABWP was providing it,” Dr. LaTanya Hines, ABWP’s new president, expressed. She is an OB/GYN in private practice.

In addition to offering free medical/health services to urban communities, the organization supports black women medical doctors, interns, residents, and medical students, offering them scholarships. The upcoming 27th Annual Charity, Scholarship, and Dinner Dance on October 25, 2008 at the Renaissance Montura Hotel in Los Angeles will raise funds that will provide financial scholarships to medical students.

“We want all of them to know we exist and what we offer. We also want them to know that we need them in our efforts to serve our urban communities’ doctors. We want to increase awareness of our organization amongst eligible physicians, residents and physicians in training, and provide a support base for them. Furthermore, we want the national Black community to know that we are about delivering quality care for free, and dedicated to their health and wellness,” said Dr. Hines.

Before coming on board Hines understood the national direction in which the members wanted to take the organization, and the need for such an organization in urban communities. The not-for-profit organization will maintain its Los Angeles based headquarters, as the organization opens other locations throughout the country.

If you are a black woman doctor and are interested in learning more about ABWP membership, or are interested in starting a local chapter of ABWP, contact Dr. LaTanya Hines at acehines@yahoo.com. To learn more about ABWP and when they will be in your community providing health screenings, you may visit them on the web at www.blackwomenphysicians.org/aboutus.php