Online Program

Role of health policies in faith-based institutions in promoting health behavior change: The Philadelphia Ujima experience

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Candace Robertson-James, DrPH, Office of Urban Health Equity, Education and Research, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Ana Nunez, MD, Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Lidyvez Mejia, MPH (candidate), Office of Urban Health Equity, Education & Research, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

background: Drexel University College of Medicine’s Philadelphia Ujima Health Collaborative (funded by  the Office on Women’s Health) is a coalition of community, academic, faith and wellness organizations that have partnered to address health disparities. The coalition utilizes a community based participatory research (CBPR) framework and gender lens to address heart health, nutrition, fitness, sexual health and healthy relationships in underserved communities. As a result of participating in an individual level health promotion intervention, two faith-based partners developed health and wellness policies to better inform their health promoting practices. The policies were developed, approved and implemented at both institutions. methodology:  75 Congregants were recruited by site liaisons at church programs and meetings to complete surveys assessing their knowledge and awareness of the policy as well as observed changes in institutional and personal practices annually. Additionally key informant interviews were conducted with ministry leaders.  results: The program has been successful in promoting and institutionalizing healthier eating practices. In particular as a result of the developed policies sites have increased the number of events where fruits, vegetables and water are served. There were increases in health information disseminated to members. Sites identified institutional and social barriers and discussed policy amendments to help disseminate and expand the health promotion messages to others throughout their organizations and community.  conclusions:  Effective community/academic partnerships using community participatory approaches with a health in all policies focus can aid in improving health behaviors in diverse and underserved communities and engaging communities to play an active role in health promotion.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of a health promotion program in informing policies at two faith based organizations Discuss effective processes for informing policy in faith based organizations using a community participatory framework

Keyword(s): Faith Community, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director and have been intimately involved in all aspects of the project. I have participated in the design and implementation, data collection and analysis activities.
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.