A Great Faith Based Partnership
Take Action for Health strives to increase mammograms, blood pressure screenings and screenings for depression and anxiety-risk in an effort to catch these health conditions early while they are more treatable. For example, African-American women have the lowest breast cancer survival rate of all ethnic and racial groups, according to the American Cancer Society, and one potential reason may be because African-American women are diagnosed with more advanced or later stage breast cancer.
As one of 3 pilot sites, the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) experienced great success through their partnership with Blueridge United Methodist Church. Pastor Malone Wardley was excited to partner with HAUL on this project. She stated that this project “tied in wonderfully” with the church’s focus on health and would complement their existing health programming. The church provided space for the health education sessions, recruited members within its congregation and externally, and identified individuals to facilitate the health education sessions.
The minister, Rev. Marquette Gibbs, took flyers to the apartment complexes, small businesses, local library and other locations where community members congregated. Take Action for Health was announced during worship services, members received several e-mail blasts, one-on-one discussions with Rev. Gibbs regarding their participation. Rev. Gibbs had already identified a group of individuals to participate and coordinated a HAUL presentation to recruit individuals from a bible study session. Her efforts helped HAUL with meeting the recruitment goal for the project. The partnership was excellent, tables, chairs, projector screen, etc. was set up hours before each health education session. The HAUL provided iPads for participants to access the pre-survey and online health resources, while the church staff prepared the iPads for use by allowing use of the church’s internet connection.
With a common goal of eliminating health disparities in the African American community, Anthem, Inc., the National Urban League, City of Hope and Pfizer, Inc., have teamed up to create Take Action for Health, a unique initiative focused on reducing some of the greatest health risks facing the African American community today: breast cancer, heart disease and emotional well-being.