While I was on retreat in June, I picked up a copy of a Christian newspaper. As I was perusing the articles, an advertisement caught my eye.It was for an organization called Faith Fights Diabetes. According to the ad, if faith communities got involved with helping people better understand diabetes, many more people would be able to either avoid getting the disease, or they would be better equipped to deal with it.
Of course, the ad piqued my curiosity, and when I got back from the retreat, I jumped on my computer and learned all I could about this organization. There were some good things, and one unfortunate thing. We’ll start with the good.
Almost universally, people trust their religious leaders. Studies have shown that, when religious leaders talk about health issues such as diabetes, members of their faith community pay attention. When they see that more nutritious food is served at their gatherings, they pay attention. Generally, when something becomes important to the faith community’s leaders, it becomes important to the community at large.
I could immediately see how using faith communities to help improve the physical health of its members could have many positive ramifications. The potential was great.
Now, for the unfortunate part. Faith Fights Diabetes is a program developed by the New York State Health Department. Yes, it’s just for New Yorkers 🙁
So, I began thinking. The concept seems so right, and I know the need is great. How can I bring this to my community?
Well, I’ll find out today. This afternoon, I’m meeting with some folks from my local hospital and an organization called Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County. From my initial conversations with them, it sounded like this would be something they’d be very interested in. I’ll let you know how it goes.