Background: Black churches serve as a trusted source of health information. Church congregants who are community health advisors (CHAs) can play a significant role in underserved communities.

Objectives: To describe 1) a community engagement program between an academic medical center and faith-based organizations (FBOs) in which a health care chaplain plays a central role, and 2) an adaptation of the original Health through Early Awareness and Learning (HEAL) educational program that trains CHAs in FBOs in other underserved communities.

Methods: In collaboration with eight FBOs, the content of a 2-day educational training program to train CHAs was developed. The program covered a broad range of health topics in the context of men's health and women's health. Scripture was included in the training materials to help the CHAs make a connection between health positive scriptural encouragement and overall health. Practicums were used to evaluate CHA readiness to conduct workshops. Participants were provided with resources to access more information as well as questions that they can ask their health care providers.

Results: Twenty-six CHAs successfully completely the training program and demonstrated readiness to conduct workshops.

Conclusions: Through close partnerships with churches in underserved communities, it was possible to successfully adapt a CHA health education training program.


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pp. 321-329
Launched on MUSE
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