As part of the Coalition’s community efforts, Camden’s faith-based communities are building a culture of wellness. The Faith in Prevention program, which is entering its second year, engages local congregations with a six-week health and wellness curriculum.

In 2015, the program engaged over 200 participants across nine organizations and trained over 30 community leaders to promote healthy living in their own churches and masjids. This year, the program will more than double in size, expanding to 20 of Camden’s faith-based organizations.

As part of the program, faith-based organizations will submit proposals for mini-grants to build lessons from the curriculum into their congregational culture, such as building walking trails or establishing health and fitness libraries.

One of three New Jersey communities funded by the Department of Health, the Coalition’s Faith in Prevention program aims to reduce the burden of chronic disease in Camden. This year, the Coalition received additional funding from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network to support the program.

The Faith in Prevention program will also take on new partners in 2016. The Campbell Healthy Communities programs will connect Faith in Prevention participants to their Healthy Corner Store Initiative and Soccer for Success. Continuing to build on the lessons learned through the program in 2015, past participants will grow fresh fruit and vegetables in time for spring with Parkside Roots to Market gardening program.

“The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers is a key partner in our Faith in Prevention initiative, which connects the faith community with efforts to reduce chronic disease and improve population health,” said New Jersey Acting Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett. “Faith leaders have a powerful connection to their communities, so partnering with them to encourage healthy lifestyles and nutrition among their congregations just makes sense.”

Four faith-based organizations will launch their programming in February 2016:

  • Dunamis Life Church, Pastor Saki Wilcox
  • New Beginnings United Methodist Church, Pastor Calvin Woods
  • Power For Life International Church, Pastors John and Tasha Haslon
  • Victory Outreach Church, Pastor Daniel Bishop

For more information on the Faith in Prevention program, please visit our website or contact Summer L. Tatum at statum@camdenhealth.org.

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