Online Program

Village HeartBEAT: People, partnership, pride and progress

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cheryl Emanuel, MS, Health Promotion, Mecklenburg County Health Department, Charlotte, NC
Marcus Plescia, MD MPH, Public Health, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, NC
Camina Davis, MS, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Lori Carter-Edwards, PhD, MPH, Public Health Leadership Program and Department of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Mark J. DeHaven, PhD, College of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Issues: Greater percentages of Black than White women (37.9% vs. 19.4%) and Black than White men (61.5% vs. 41.5%) die from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) before age 75, and Blacks have a higher prevalence of all major CVD risk factors. The American Heart Association emphatically recommends lifestyle interventions for reducing CVD risk, prevalence, and related health disparities. Faith-based organizations (i.e., churches) represent viable settings for implementing sustainable heart-healthy lifestyle programs.

Description: Village HeartBEAT (VHB) is a collaborative, community-coalition program for reducing CVD through Black and Hispanic/Latino churches in Charlotte, NC.  It uses a 9-month, heart-health community-challenge framework, to improve fitness levels among residents with self-identified CVD risk factors. The intervention phase is a 12-week recruitment and screening period followed by a 16-week church-team weight-loss challenge.  Ambassadors (or Promotoras) lead 10-member teams that compete to see which church-team can lose the most weight. Participants receive heart-health risk management education through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s With Every Heart Beat curriculum.

Lessons Learned: In 2013-2014, 140 participants from 14 churches participated in 122 health-promotion events in their respective congregations. The challenge produced an absolute weight loss of 535 pounds (range, 10-61 pounds/team; mean, 3.8 pounds/person).  Satisfaction with the program was extremely high: 93% (program overall); 98% (information quality); and 98% (program process). 

Recommendations: Because of high levels of community satisfaction and perceived value of VHB, the program is presently enhancing its research and evaluation component, developing a more systematic approach to implementation, and planning to extend its reach throughout the County.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the components of a successful faith-based collaborative to improve health policies. Recognize the critical role of faith-based organizations in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular diseases.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Prevention, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have several years of experience working with federally funded grants to address health disparities faced by racial and ethnic minorities. I have also worked as a key facilitator of public health and faith based collations in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to successfully deliver cardiovascular prevention programs within minority populations.
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.