Faith-BasedHealth Education Case Study 2
Faith-BasedHealth Education Case Study 2
Faith-basedhealth education project was a prevention program intended to educatechurch members about maternal, childcare, and family needs. Theinitiative’s aim was to deal with the issues of increasing teenagepregnancies among the marginalized communities. It was carried out inareas with high rates of teenage pregnancies, low immunization rates,low birth weight babies, and chronic diseases (Johnston, 2003). Theproject used churches as the sites for health education andpromotion. These faith communities were selected depending on theirlocation and willingness to support the programs. As a result, theyacted as agents for implementation because they could identify thecommunity members who needed help while the volunteers promoted theefforts of the initiative (Marin et al., 1995).
Theprogram development started with the director who hired staff,recruited churches, and supervised the project development process.Later, the health department hired a project coordinator to provideassistance in the faith communities, schedule and facilitate teammeetings, allocate resources, and train the staff (Johnston, 2003).The program was implemented in two Protestants and two Catholicchurches. The project staff presented the idea to the pastors whosuggested the volunteers to form the teams. Selection of team membersdepended on the pastors or the volunteers. For instance, in churchone, the volunteers recruited other members to join the project. Inchurch three, the team leader recruited the members and in the othertwo churches, the pastors were responsible for the recruitmentprocess. After that, the project director and coordinator met theteam members to outline the contract agreements, which served as anofficial commitment to the project. Then, they developed the needsevaluation tools for the surveys, which were uniquely designed toreflect the issues, interests, and concerns of each church (Johnston,2003).
Theprogram used survey method to collect information on health problemsin the community and request for necessary services. Each team fromthe four churches carried out a survey in their respectivecongregations to determine their needs. It assessed the needs of thecommunity by receiving input from the faith community on the healthissues that were most prevalent in their society. Then, the resultsof the survey defined the agendas for the project staff and teams(Johnston, 2003). During the surveys, the team discovered that thecongregation had different issues from those intended for the study.Consequently, the project staff and teams focused on what the faithcommunities felt to be their needs and interests.
Theproject used the newsletters as the primary data source. Each teamdeveloped a newsletter to communicate the project activities to thechurch members. These articles informed the congregation of allactivities and timeline. The health department covered the printingcost while the teams assisted in writing, formatting and translatingthe newsletters. In addition, they also distributed the newslettersto the congregations (Johnston, 2003).
However,the program failed to sustain its activities in all faithcommunities. It did not promote better techniques, which wouldattract pastoral involvement and commitment from the members.Besides, it did not follow the objectives of the initiative. Theproject staff changed the original agenda and started following theneeds and interests indicated by the faith communities. Accordingly,they began concentrating on awareness about health issues, availableresources, and changing individual behavior (Johnston, 2003).
Onthe other hand, the initiative has implications for health educationdesign, implementation, and administration. It serves as a vehiclefor promoting health education by disseminating medical informationand prevention measures in the context of health and well-being. Theproject confirms that group interaction and support make up theessential components of health education (Marin et al., 1995). Italso shows that the developmental component entails advancingindividual skills to enable people to look after themselves. It hasdemonstrated that an effective health education design starts withthe identification of various important psychosocial factors thatgovern health behaviors in individuals and populations. For instance,the team focused on the behavioral change of the congregation andavailability of resources in the communities (Johnston, 2003). Theproject also functions as a medium for helping the practitionersachieve public competencies. It stresses the importance of healthorganizations and different communities working together to improvehealth outcomes. Hence, the members learn to identify the resourcesand engage the community to provide health education activities thatconform to the community’s culture (Delgado, Falcon & Metzger,1995).
Thefindings indicated that the pastors were directly linked to theachievements and continuation of the program (Johnston, 2003).Support of the staff was also important especially in theimplementation and evaluation processes. The four faith communitieswere unique. Thus, the volunteers were essential because theyincreased credibility in their respective congregation (Marin et al.,1995). They also ensured that the programs and activities werecompatible with the local culture.
Finally,if I were to run the project, I would first hire staff who wouldexecute the objectives. Second, I would meet the pastors to discusshow to select the team leaders who would then recruit other membersfrom their churches. I would actively involve the pastors and thecongregation leaders in the planning, implementation, and evaluationprocesses to attain a high level of sustainability. Furthermore, Iwould ensure that the primary aims of the study are followed.However, it would also incorporate the needs of the communities thatare not in the initial plan. Consequently, the primary objectiveswould be met while simultaneously addressing various health issues inthe community. The main obstacle would be the lack of participation.Some people may be unwilling to discuss some issues because they donot affect everyone such as teenage pregnancies, which would hindersuccessful implementation of the project’s agenda. Even so, it ispossible to overcome the obstacle by involving the congregationleaders. Therefore, they would have the opportunity to determine thebest approach when implementing the programs according to theirrespective cultures. Besides, considering the culture of the churchmembers would ensure more collaboration (Delgado, Falcon &Metzger, 1995).
Delgado,J. L., Falcon, A. P., & Metzger, R. (1995). Meeting the healthpromotion needs of Hispanic communities. AmericanJournal of Health Promotion,9, 300-311.
Johnston,G. N. (2003). Faith-based health education project: A case study. G.N. L. Johnston / Californian Journal of Health Promotion,1(2), 208-222.
MarinG., et al. (1995). A research agenda for health education amongunderserved populations. HealthEducation Quarterly,22, 346-363.