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Health & Wellness
We believe that the journey toward optimum health is an important part of holy living.
The mission of the National Department of Health & Wellness is to educate, influence behavior, provide resources, and advocate for better overall health — physical, mental and spiritual — for our community. We wholeheartedly affirm the Bible’s reminder that our body is the dwelling place, or temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19). And a temple that is well maintained will serve its purpose better than one that is not. We, therefore, believe that the journey toward optimum health is an important part of holy living.
“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
We accomplish our mission by sponsoring and promoting a variety of health-related programs, such as “Temple Keepers” and “90 Days to New Health,” innovative initiatives that helps congregants and community members to kick-start and maintain their personal commitment to better health through improved diet and exercise habits. Our walking programs have included participation in timed events such as The Walt Disney Marathon in Florida and the More half-marathon in New York City.
Health programs are developed and implemented based on needs-assessments of the individual congregations. This interest in health issues has been expressed in numerous ways such as participation in local breast cancer walks, bone marrow drives, and individual patient advocacy. At our Brooklyn church, we are piloting a program called “Virtual Clinic.” This program invites board-certified doctors to volunteer two hours per month to have one-on-one conversations with our congregants about their individual health concerns. These concerns might include understanding test results, guidelines on questions to ask the doctor, medical resources, and more.
In addition, we partner with our local churches, community based organizations, government institutions, and health organizations to bring health screenings, workshops and training to our congregations and the communities where we minister. These partnerships have also yielded community health fairs and workshops.
Our dedicated involvement in health issues led to our Health Director, Yvonne Biggs-Rubie, to be one of six local health leaders to participate with lawmakers, insurance industry executives, physicians, at the first White House Conference on health care reform, held in March 2009.
Sis. Yvonne Biggs-Rubie, MPH, CHES, IC, has served as Director of the National Department of Health since 2002.