242305 Public Health Faith-Based Initiative

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cindy Theodore, RN, BSN , ID Bureau, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Triniese Polk, MSHC , Outreach Office, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Lynsey Avalone, Student , School of Public Health, Boston University, Brighton, MA
M. Anita Barry, MD, MPH , ID Bureau, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Early in the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, high disease rates were noted among racial/ethnic minorities in Boston. To provide education and enhance influenza vaccination coverage to vulnerable groups during subsequent flu seasons, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) partnered with faith-based organizations. BPHC developed and implemented a training series on influenza and vaccine administration for faith-based clinicians.

Three hour trainings were presented by BPHC staff and upon completion of training faith-based nurses received 3.3 contact hours of nursing continuing education credits. BPHC then provided vaccines, supplies and other related resources to faith-based leaders who received the training to host flu clinics at their respective places of worship throughout the City. As a result over 1,164 individuals were vaccinated against influenza during the 2010-11 season.

Recognizing that this successful model would not only improve community preparedness for influenza but would help address other public health issues, BPHC surveyed the health care needs and concerns of over 400 faith-based organizations. Results suggested their needs matched the services provided by BPHC and participants agreed that a faith-based public health partnership was eminent to addressing health inequities.

The Faith-Based Public Health Initiative is unique in that it aims to enhance community capacity by providing key resources and trainings to faith-based leaders, a group that is often closely connected to vulnerable populations. Our future goal includes training faith-based leaders on how to establish wellness centers within their faith-based organization. These infrastructures will allow public health services and resources to be effortlessly linked to marginalized populations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the value of enhancing the skills of faith-based leaders who are providing health resources and educations to their faith-based organizations 2. Design and implement a curriculum for increasing the health outreach capacity of faith-based organizations 3. Develop and formulate a plan on how to empower faith-based organizations to conduct self-sustainable health outreach in vulnerable populations

Keywords: Faith Community, Community Outreach

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I coordinate and oversee the Faith-Based Initiative outreach program.
Any relevant financial relationships? 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.