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AME Church Ministerial Alliance - East Florida Conference

AME Church Ministerial Alliance - East Florida Conference

P.O. Box 2554
Jacksonville, FL 32203

Phone: (904) 399-3838
Fax: (904) 924-1572
Title: Body and Soul: A Faith-Based Health Improvement Initiative
Project Director: Quelonda Bruer
Target Population: Black/African American
Health Issues: Obesity and Overweight
Age Group: Adults

The goal of the Body and Soul: A Faith-Based Health Improvement Initiative is to improve the health and well-being of African Americans in Jacksonville-Duval County by increasing awareness about the impact of obesity on health, as well as supporting healthy weights, improved eating habits, and increased physical activity among African American residents. The AME Church Ministerial Alliance East Florida Conference represents a network of more than 50 AME churches in northeast Florida. The Duval Count Health Department and the Florida Healthy Start Coalition are the collaborating partners for the project.

The project conducts a church-based campaign to increase awareness of the impact of obesity on health that will be implemented through AME and other predominantly black denominations. Project staff has developed a pastor packet containing information about prevalence of overweight and obesity; community resources to assist participants in improving their diet and lifestyles; church-based activities to promote healthy weight and increased physical activity; and sample sermons and Sunday school lessons that support good health. Each year approximately 6 pastors and churches are invited to participate in the program by forming health improvement groups that encourage the weight reduction efforts of individual participants. The program provides an on-site coordinator who is responsible for program logistics and participant recruitment. During program initiation, project staff identifies participants who have not had a physical exam in the last year and encourages them to see their health care providers within 30 days. Participants without a medical home are linked to the Duval County Health Department or another local health care facility. The health improvement groups complete a 12-week intervention (Phase I) followed by a 12-week maintenance program (Phase II). During Phase I, participants meet individually with project staff to set personal goals for weight loss, diet and physical activity. The groups meet once a week for 2-hour sessions during which moderation, balance, common sense eating, and physical activity are emphasized. During Phase II, participants meet bi-weekly and activities transition from staff-led to participant-led. Successful “graduates” are recruited to participant in new groups to share their experiences and to motivate members.

Content Last Modified: 1/9/2006 10:14:00 AM
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