Online Program

Religious competency in public health

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Jennifer Kolker, MPH, Department of Health Management and Policy, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
While public health has taken great strides to understand racial and ethnic diversity and their relationship to health and health care, we have not necessarily incorporated religion into our definition of “culture” and have not addressed the challenges of understanding different faiths and the role that adherence to faith may play as a contributor to health status. Religion needs to be a part of the cultural competency framework in order to reduce barriers to access as well as to contribute positively to the health status of the communities we serve, ideally reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes.Understanding the structural, historical, and cultural elements that create someone's religious tradition, adherence, and identity is critical to communicating with them and understanding their individual choices and health decision-making. To address this knowledge gap, the Pennsylvania Public Health Training Center, at its site at the Drexel School of Public Health in Philadelphia, in partnership with The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, engaged in a strategic collaboration to develop an inaugural training on building religious competency for the public health and clinical workforce. Participants increased their knowledge of traditional and lesser-known religions and, through interactive case based training, learned skills and content to enhance their ability to plan programs, communicate public health messages, provide preventive and clinical care, and interact successfully with people of diverse faith backgrounds.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the relationship between faith and health and the role of religious competency in overall cultural competency. Demonstrate understanding of how to incorporate faith competency into public health education and training.

Keyword(s): Training, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-Principal Investigator for the Pennsylvania Public Health Training Center, which developed and implemented the training described in this abstract. I am also the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and focus on academic/practice partnerships and workforce training.
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.