Project FIT (Faith Influencing Transformation): The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Sunday Morning Health Screenings in African American Churches
Description: Project FIT is a church-based, pilot intervention designed to increase preventative behaviors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and access to health screenings and linkage to care services. Using a CBPR approach, pastors and church health liaisons contributed to project planning and participated in the coordination and promotion of health screenings. By developing collaborative partnerships, we successfully leveraged existing screening resources among community-based, private, university, and health agencies to facilitate health screenings during Sunday morning services at 6 African American churches. The screenings (cholesterol, blood pressure, A1C, BMI, waist-circumference) were held at one church per week for 6 consecutive Sundays, and an average of 60 participants per church took part in screening activities (N=356).
Lessons Learned: We will discuss the successful pre-scheduling of participants and the implementation of on-site screening procedures; the challenges of training volunteers and conducting body measurements while participants were dressed in their Sunday best; and the critical issues of maintaining low-cost supplies, systematically recording biometrics, and retaining volunteers.
Recommendations: Enhancing volunteer trainings and better utilization of university students are recommended. We will discuss other recommendations along with Project FIT next steps.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Explain lessons learned that inform church-based health screening procedures. Discuss building health screening capacity for Sunday mornings.
Keyword(s): African American, Faith Community
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years of experience leading non profit and faith based organizations. My leadership has provided agency oversight, partnership building, fund development and creative development of community health education programming focusing on HIV, Youth Development, and Health and Wellness. For the last 8 years I have assisted in the development of CBPR partnerships with academic research institutions responding to health disparities that affect the African American community.
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.