163491 A New Approach for Working with Faith-Based Organizations: The ISIS Project

Monday, November 5, 2007: 11:30 AM

Anafidelia Tavares, MD, MPH , The Balm In Gilead, New York, NY
Joyce Moon-Howard, MPH, Dr PH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Camille Parara, MPH , The Balm In Gilead, New York, NY
Pernessa Seele, MS , The Balm In Gilead, New York, NY
The ISIS Project was developed to address the disparity in cervical cancer among African American women through comprehensive cervical cancer prevention education and the promotion of regular screening, diagnosis and treatment. The Project was established by the Balm In Gilead, Inc. a not for profit organization headquartered in Virginia. Known for its successful HIV/AIDS faith-based Mobilization Model, the organization has developed a unique strategy for engaging churches in cervical cancer prevention education and intervention. The new approach is intended to increase the rapid scale up of participating churches. Rather than one house of worship at a time, the organization works with organized religious structures with communication linkages to reach thousands of member churches. For cervical cancer prevention, the Balm In Gilead has forged a partnership with three African American religious denominations: the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ) and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME). The partnership's goal is to enhance the capacity and infrastructure of these institutions to incorporate sustainable health promotion and disease prevention programs. The partnership has resulted in the successful establishment of 3 national health offices and 35 district level health coordinators. The national offices work within the women's missionary societies to make cervical cancer prevention education and intervention a priority health concern in their ministries. The denominations strongly supported the Project and in 2005- 2006, the Project rolled out the ISIS Project Tour in 8 cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, District of Columbia and Jacksonville. This presentation reports on results of the ISIS Project Tour; discusses the steps and stages of forging partnerships with denominations; describes the structure, culture, hierarchical and leadership role of denominational organizations among member churches; examines the benefits and challenges in working with denominations vs. individual churches and discusses lessons learned.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the steps of engaging Black faith communities Describe the structure and leadership role of denominational organizations Articulate the benefits and challenges of working through denominational hierarchy

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Digene Corporation HPV testing Unrestricted educational grant to the Balm In Gilead

Any company-sponsored training? Yes
Did the company pay your travel and lodging? Yes
Were you provide you with slides as part of the training sessions? Yes
Did you receive an honorarium or consulting fee for participating in the training? Yes
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.