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Mixing Health and Religion to Help a Community

Harmony Spencer

Memphis is one of the poorest cities in the nation and one of the least healthy. But a liaison program between hospitals and community churches has created more discussion, prevention and treatment of health issues like diabetes and breast cancer. Could quality of life be improved in other impoverished communities if more churches were to include health in their sermons?

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  • Laura Clevenger

    I am currently working on a hypertension study with NYU Medical that combines lifestyle behavior change education classes and religion. The participants are recruited from churches and "Faith" (health) leaders from the church teach the classes. We will not know if a faith-based program is effective until the end of the five year study (Spring 2014), but it is a very exciting idea! Pastors/religious leaders have a platform, a voice, and the opportunity to improve the lives of community members.