On Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in partnership with the Faith Health Alliance and National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care and Equity, held a hybrid town hall at the Providence MB Church in Chicago and through Zoom.
Hosted by the Rev. Dr. William H. Foster, Jr., Senior Pastor of Providence MB Church, the event featured insights from Dr. Maurice Brownlee, Latasha Guy, PharmD, Rev. Dr. Terris King of Liberty Grace Church of God, and Bishop J.L. Carter, Senior Pastor Ark church.
Participants discussed issues related to spreading good health this holiday season amid COVID-19 and the flu – and used the event as a launchpad to plan activities to support congregants’ understanding of flu and COVID vaccination and, moving into the future, other aspects of health equity, including chronic disease care, cancer screenings, and healthy living education and support.
We are excited about partnering with the National Minority Quality Forum and the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity in educating the Auburn-Gresham community about the COVID-19 and flu vaccines and how they benefit each person, and the community as a whole. Statistics show that the African American community has one of the lowest rates of vaccination because of the lack of information regarding the vaccinations. Our goal is to educate our community and hope to allay any fears about the vaccinations. In doing so, this partnership will change the trajectory of the African American community.
According to The Rev. Dr. Terris King and Bishop Dr. J. L. Carter, who are leading Faith Health Alliance, African Americans have suffered vaccine disparities, COVID-19 infection and death, and other health inequities – through less knowledge and access, social and economic barriers and discrimination and bias in the health system.
Pastors can play a pivotal role in closing these deadly gaps.
“The church is committed to spiritual and physical healing – we are spirit and body,” the Rev. Dr. Carter said.
The Rev. Dr. Terris King added; “The interrelatedness of health equity and faith is being renewed nationally by the Faith Health Alliance, organized first to fight COVID and the flu in 10 cities through increased Immunization. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman. Prayerfully, this is a new beginning in addressing that.”
This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Minority Quality Forum’s SHC vaccine initiatives also receive support from Sanofi Pasteur.
Kelly Ann Collins