Date of Paper/Work

5-2015

Type of Paper/Work

Systems Change Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Rozina Bhimani

Abstract

According to the Healthy People 2020, blacks and African Americans account for only 15.2% of the population in the United States. Yet, as a group, they have the poorest health status indicators in the nation (Xu et al., 2010). If the health status indicators are to improve for the black population, faith-based ministries can play a role in improving the health of communities through education and member engagement. In particular, black churches serve many social, organizational, and religious functions, offering opportunities for promoting healthy behaviors (Baruth, Wilcox, Bopp & Saunders, 2008). The purpose of this systems change project was to launch a health ministry in a small suburban church that serves mainly African Immigrants. The focus of the healthcare ministry was to educate its members on health, wellness and chronic disease prevention.

Results of the project showed statistical significant (P < 0.05) change in knowledge in chronic disease prevention pre and post intervention. This was evident in the areas of hypertension, fruits and vegetable servings per day, amount of time needed for daily exercise, and agreement with the statement that anxiety and depression can be treated. Two results that were not statistically significant (P > 0.05) in change in knowledge were in the area of fasting blood glucose and anxiety and depression are treatable condition.

The results of this study provided evidence that healthcare ministry can play a role in engaging communities of faith and play a role in health promotion and preventive health initiatives. The results also provided some insights for researchers and practitioners focused on use of team based collaborative approach at the community level.

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