The Role of Faith-Based Institutions in Addressing Health Disparities: A Case Study of an Initiative in the Southwest Bronx

Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, USA.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (Impact Factor: 1.1). 06/2006; 17(2 Suppl):9-19. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.2006.0088
Source: PubMed


Although many public health initiatives have been implemented through collaborations with faith-based institutions, little is known about best practices for developing such programs. Using a community-based participatory approach, this case study examines the implementation of an initiative in the Bronx, New York, that is designed to educate community members about health promotion and disease management and to mobilize church members to seek equal access to health care services. The study used qualitative methods, including the collaborative development of a logic model for the initiative, focus groups, interviews, analysis of program reports, and participant observation. The paper examines three key aspects of the initiative's implementation: (1) the engagement of the church leadership; (2) the use of church structures as venues for education and intervention; and (3) changes in church policies. Key findings include the importance of pre-existing relationships within the community and the prominent agenda-setting role played by key pastors, and the strength of the Coalition's dual focus on health behaviors and health disparities. Given the churches' demonstrated ability to pull people together, to motivate and to inspire, there is great potential for faith-based interventions, and models developed through such interventions, to address health disparities.

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    • "Moreover, in recent years, the church has become an advocate of health promotion and disease prevention as racial disparities in health, and quality of life have become more evident. It has done this by providing health promotion and disease prevention programs run through locally organized health fairs in partnership with public health agencies (Kaplan et al. 2006). Though the African American church has been involved in health promotion and disease prevention efforts in areas such as breast and cervical cancer (Matthews et al. 2006), cardiovascular disease (Yanek et al. 2001), diabetes (Samuel-Hodge et al. 2006), healthy nutrition (Resnicow et al. 2004), and physical activity (Wilcox et al. 2007), there is a notable absence of programs to address HIV/AIDS despite its severity within the African American community (Smith et al. 2005; Francis et al. 2009). "
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    Journal of Religion and Health 10/2013; 54(1). DOI:10.1007/s10943-013-9789-8 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    • "This vision can then be translated into a plan of action that guides intervention development, implementation and evaluation. Despite this rhetoric, there is little discussion in the literature of logic model development using a participatory process (Dwyer 2003; Wilfreda et al. 2003; Hernandez and Hodges 2006; Kaplan et al. 2006). This article describes a process leading to the development of a logic model for youth mental health promotion using a participatory approach in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. "
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