4284.1: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Table 2

Abstract #6536

The Church as a Prevention Change Agent

Mary S. Sutherland, EdD, MPH, Curriculum and Instruction, The Florida State University, 209 MCH, Tallahassee, FL 32306, 850 644 2122, msutherl@garnet.acns.fsu.edu and Greogory J. Harris, MASS, HPPI, Area Agency on Aging for North Florida Inc, 2639 N. Monroe Street, Suite 145B, Tallahassee, FL 32303.

The church is considered an important organization within the African-American community. A coalition of six African-American churches empowered church members to provide senior citizens cardiovascular prevention services using a committee process. Activities following the same model were expanded to include alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention activities; breast and cervical cancer screening; and care-giving services. The presentation purpose is to share successful programmatic strategies

The original project called for establishment of a church health committee. Committee membership included ten individuals; representing different church auxiliaries developed a church prevention program. The assessment addressed church/community members needs, available church and community resources, community development strategies, most desirable interventions for particular problems or target populations, and evaluation strategies. Further, the committees prioritized needs, strategies/services, per their individually developed management action/fiscal plans. The committee members collected baseline and yearly data using pre-approved valid instruments. This data was used to determine positive behavior change, plan for future interventions, and served as a base for obtaining further funding.

The five-year high-risk youth project reflected the individual churches religious, economic, educational, and civic values. Church committees planned activities: cooperative activities between churches; youth recognition; tutoring and mentoring intergenerational; alternative activities; Drug Sundays; summer/after school activities; parent/family programs; public education; and evaluation. Primary conceptual outcomes for the 357 youth participants included: drug use is delayed if youth start program participation prior to age 11. and females and males need different activities. Adult data (N=213) showed no changes in drug behaviors, but positive changes in friends value systems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the audience will be familiar with one successful prevention strategy

Keywords: Change Concepts, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA