CPCRN Consortium Supports Faith Communities Joined for Health

Building Evidence-base Action into Community Outreach Networks (BEACON), the CPCRN at Washington University in St. Louis, initiated Faith Communities Joined for Health, a regional consortium to build capacity, leverage resources, and provide technical assistance to help local Black churches adopt and implement Body & Soul, an evidence-based intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake among African Americans. Founding partners include the American Cancer Society, Urban League, Deaconess Parish Nurse Ministries, Lane Cancer Coalition, St. Louis County Department of Health, and NCI’s Cancer Information Service-Heartland Region.

The consortium membership spans three states (Missouri, Illinois, Kansas) and has developed a support system for dissemination and implementation, a toolkit of local resources, an assessment of readiness to adopt Body & Soul, and step-by-step guidelines for dissemination. To date, one BEACON partner has implemented the program, 10 have agreed to implement it, 32 have attended training to learn how to implement it, and a group of three partners has made plans to disseminate Body & Soul to 100 churches in metropolitan St. Louis, MO. Community partners poised to implement Body & Soul will train their respective church teams in July and are planning kick-off events for late summer 2009.