242839 Urban Church, Community, and Academic Partners Impact Youth Health and Endurance

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:45 PM

Judy Springer, PhD , Physical Education Department, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, WI
Jeffrey Morzinski, PhD, MSW , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Melissa DeNomie, MS , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Willie Davis , School of Professional Development, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Urban African American youth are especially prone to sedentary lifestyles and underexposed to health information and practices. African American churches may be effective locations for promoting youth health. Purpose: An African American church within a medically underserved area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin partnered with a technical college, a medical school, and a running club to improve the endurance and health knowledge of their youth. Methods: All partners committed to principles of fairness, openness, and communication. They jointly developed curricula and assessment instruments. Adult Health Advocates (HA, n=7) received a six-week (12-hours total) training program on promoting youth health. Youth (n=22), nominated by their pastor and parents, participated in a 10-week program (15-hours) featuring progressive run/walk and health-focused didactic sessions (e.g., nutrition, spirituality/health connection, health career awareness). Training facilitators were health professionals and service-learning students. The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) instrument assessed cardiorespiratory endurance during activity. Incentives rewarded youth participation in leisure-time physical activity. Outcomes: HA were highly engaged in training (e.g., attendance >95%) and training satisfaction. Youth participation was varied (e.g., 14 of 22 youth attended >70% of sessions), with very high satisfaction ratings. Post-program improvements in knowledge and skills were significantly higher for HA and youth. Measures of youth RPE showed steadily improving cardiorespiratory endurance. Conclusions: This partnership resulted in improved youth health outcomes. Partner principles (e.g., open communication, shared resources) were important to project successes, as was youth recognition and the alignment of project activities with partner strengths. Limitations include unknown levels of sustained endurance and skill.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss challenges, limitations and lessons learned in partnerships involving a church community and academic health organizations. 2. Define partnership principles associated with faith community and academic / health organization engagement 3. List factors influencing adult and youth participation and success in faith-based health initiatives

Keywords: Faith Community, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology within the Urban Education Department at the University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee and a Masters of Education in Exercise Physiology from Northern Illinois University. I have been involved in community programming for over 20 years and have been an active participant in community-academic partnerships for the past three years. Representing Milwaukee Area Technical College I am the lead community partner in the initiative represented in this abstract.
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.