267572 Merging the Paths of Faith and Health in a Partnership of Wellness

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cynthia Wacker, MSN/Ed , Mission Outreach, Penrose- St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, CO
Lawrence Seidl, MA, MS , South State Group VP Mission Integration, Centura Health, Colorado Springs, CO
The social determinants of health often overlook spiritual indicators such as hope or reconciliation. Engaging faith communities can be lost within non spiritual language and yet they are critical partners in addressing these spiritual determinants that affect lifestyle and overall health. The expertise of the faith community is critical in addressing health concerns in their members. In a pilot program to address this discrepancy, one hospital engaged with churches utilizing an anonymous survey tool that projected immediate results on a large screen during their normal weekly service. With an electronic survey tool in hand, a 20 question lifestyle tool was administered. The survey included issues such as fear, forgiveness, relationships, self-image and stress which are believed to impact health and personal well-being. Within the month following the survey, church leaders assessed the data and created a congregational year-long health improvement plan which included sermon series, bible study, wellness coaching, sunday school classes and education forums all dependent on the personal faith communities assessment of their members needs. A key premise of the program is that one's spiritual well being serves as a catalyst for the lifestyle choices one might make. In the end, we learned that the incredible network of churches which exist in every community in America, is a key catalyst for improving health and the practice of health in a community.With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, creativity and innovation within health care will need programs such as this to create partnerships of care.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how faith communities can be engaged into the work of Public Health utilizing their own culture of spirituality. 2. Demonstrate and share a survey tool for assessing spiritual well being within the context of a faith community 3. Identify the power of spiritual motivation and how faith and health integrate within a faith community post survey results to formulate a health plan for a congregation.

Keywords: Faith Community, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the program manager for the mission outreach program of PSF which includes the Church Health Project, the PSF Faith Community Nurse team and numerous community collaborations with El Paso County Public Health and State of Colorado Department of Health. I also serve as faculty for the Colorado Education Consortium for Faith Community Nursing.
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.