Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4208.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 3:15 PM

Abstract #115729

Civic engagement for community health (CECH): A rural and urban church-based approach to environment change and African-American health promotion

Nisha D. Botchwey, PhD1, Viktor Bovbjerg, PhD2, E. Franklin Dukes, PhD3, Glenn A. Gaesser, PhD4, Pamela A. Kulbok, RN, DNSc5, Jerry L. Nadler, MD6, Leigh K. Rosen1, Mir Said Siadaty, MS MD7, Anne Wolf, MS, RD8, and Jennifer Haynes1. (1) Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia, School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, P.O. Box 400122, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4122, 434-924-6444, jlh7t@virginia.edu, (2) Health Evaluation Sciences, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908, (3) University of Virginia, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Peyton House, PO Box 400179, Charlottesville, VA 22904, (4) Department of Human Services, Kinesiology Program, University of Virginia, Memorial Gymnasium, 223a, PO Box 400407, Charlottesville, VA 22904, (5) School of Nursing, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908, (6) School of Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Virginia, Fontaine Research Park, Aurbach Building, PO Box 801405, Charlottesville, VA 22904, (7) Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University opf Virginia, UVA School of Medicine, DHES, Box 800717, Charlottesville, VA 22908, (8) Health Evaluation Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1710 Allied Street, Suite 34, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Comprehensive lifestyle change has been shown to improve people's health and weight control. However, sustained weight control is not promising if people's environments are not changed to support this effort. The participation of religious institutions in health promotion, specifically obesity prevention and management, is becoming widely recognized especially within the African American religious community. The Black church's health promotion work and involvement in local community development and neighborhood revitalization make them ideal institutions for collaboration.

Civic Engagement for Community Health (CECH), a church-based health intervention led by in-house parish nurses in one urban and one rural Virginia community, explores the impact of civic engagement on lifestyle modification. The paper focuses on assessing the impact that civic engagement to create built environments in support of healthier lifestyles has on behavior change through physical activity and nutrition, among members of urban and rural African American congregations.

The presentation will: (1) Describe the physical activity and nutrition characteristics of the urban and rural CECH participants; (2) Assess CECH participants' civic engagement; and (3) Evaluate built environment influences on health identified by CECH participants and through initial community mapping.

The multidisciplinary methods used in this study follow urban planning and public health paradigms with emphasis on civic engagement, social capital, spatial analysis and population health. Findings are based on results of baseline surveys completed by CECH participants, their individual clinical and civic engagement markers, and community mapping results.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Community Involvement, Faith Community

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Faith Community Effecting Change: Addressing Health Disparities and Social Justice

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA