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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Mobilizing African American faith based organizations to reduce health disparities

Rosedelia Ancheta, MS, Dwight Tillery, JD, and Vanessa Gentry, JD. The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati, 3120 Burnet Avenue, Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45229, 513-585-9877, anchetr@healthall.com

Faith based organizations can be instrumental in promoting health and disease prevention because of their central role in the African American community. The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati implemented the Health Leadership Institute for Faith Based Organizations to create and strengthen health ministries among African American churches. The Institute trained ministers and lay leaders from 22 churches using a curriculum that provides information on health disparities, resources for accessing local health care, and tools for developing health ministries. Institute participants established or worked with existing health committees to conduct a comprehensive assessment, including surveys, in order to discover the assets within the church, and also determine the health status and concerns of the congregants. Health committees utilized the results of the assessments to develop and implement activities that address the needs and strengths of their churches. In collaboration with community partners, the health committees implemented programs to promote physical activity and healthy eating, navigate health care systems, increase participation in health screenings, and improve disease management. Opportunities were provided to Institute alumni to share successes, key learnings, and challenges in implementing programs. Evaluation of the Institute was conducted through pre- and post-tests, surveys, and qualitative interviews of participants. Evaluation results demonstrated increased awareness of health disparities and improved skills for developing health ministries.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Faith Community, Health Disparities

Related Web page: www.health-alliance.com/closingthegap

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

The Faith Communities, Social Justice and Health Disparities

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA