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					Faith-based Partnerships Offer
Great Potential for Expansion
of Arthritis Programs

Cora Plass, MSW
SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
Rationale for Faith-based Partners
   Faith communities are the center of religious and
    often social life in SC, especially in rural areas
   Faith-based partnerships offer an excellent way to
    reach African Americans and people in underserved
    areas of the state
   Programs offered at churches are accessible and
    reach people who otherwise might not attend
   Programs are provided in a culturally appropriate
    context and can be adapted to incorporate spirituality
State-level Faith-based Partners
   Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church
      EF, AFEP, AFSHP
         600+ churches statewide

         Reid Foundation, non-profit 501 C-3
          responsible for health programs
         Hierarchical structure

         Organized formal health ministry program



   South Atlantic AME Zion Church
      CDSMP
         132 churches statewide

         Founded on holistic approach w/ emphasis on
          community outreach/service
         Hierarchical structure
State-level Faith-based Partners
   Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
      AFSHP
         SC is largest district in nation/13 churches

         National headquarters based in Columbia, w/i a
          mile of state health department
         Hierarchical structure, but size makes it easy to
          navigate

   SC Congregational Nursing Network
      AFEP, AFSHP, CDSMP
         12 networks statewide, more than 900
          churches
         State Chair is regional coordinator for Arthritis
          Program
Successes
   AME
      50 AFSHP/AFEP leaders trained
      2 CDSMP leaders trained
      3 EF MTs trained
      Programs offered in 3 areas of the state
      Arthritis programs are an integral component of
       the “Roadmap to Healthy Living” strategic health
       plan

   AME Zion
      27 CDSMP leaders trained
      23 leaders are actively offering workshops
      Workshops offered in all 3 conferences
Successes
   Progressive
      20 AFSHP leaders trained
      18 of the 20 have offered at least one workshop
       and most have offered at least 2

   SC Congregational Nursing Network/Mt. Moriah
      72 leaders trained (AFEP, CDSMP, AFSHP)
      4 MTs for CDSMP
      2 MTs for AFEP/AFSHP
      Programs currently offered in 5 networks/areas of
       the state
Challenges
 Concept of evidence-based programs is unfamiliar
 Implementing evidence-based programs is hard and
  requires a sustained commitment
 Marketing programs is challenging

 Unique culture and organizational structure of each
  partner
 More relaxed approach; fluid timetable

 Communication flow can be difficult in organizations
  with a hierarchical structure
 AME reorganization

 Timing trainings/workshops with church events

 Real life gets in the way
Lessons Learned
 Learn about the church infrastructure and culture
 Build upon existing relationships and successes

 Identify a state coordinator to navigate the process,
  but recognize that you still need region and local
  contacts
 Be sure leaders understand their commitment

 Hold regular conference calls/meetings with state
  coordinators and leaders
 Supplement training and assist w/ arranging CPR

 Consider providing funding for training/materials

 Follow up consistently and make site visits

 Provide recognition; celebrate successes

 Be persistent and willing to try new approaches

				
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posted:9/16/2011
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