The New York City Health Department’s Center for Health Equity, through its Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and in partnership with the Brooklyn Interfaith Advisory Group, hosted 100 faith-based organizations for Brooklyn’s annual Food, Fitness and Faith Summit on Wednesday, April 27, 2017.
Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner and Director of the Center for Health Equity appreciates the collaboration with the Brooklyn Interfaith Advisory Group said: “Our local faith leaders have been invaluable, collaborative partners in our efforts to advance health equity across our neighborhoods. Their renewed commitment to developing comprehensive health programs exemplifies their power to make lasting, positive changes throughout North and Central Brooklyn.”
The Interfaith Advisory Groups, which are based in each borough, bring together faith leaders to collaborate with the Health Department in the planning and development of public health programs and policies. Now in its fourth year, the summit welcomed 250 faith leaders at Brooklyn Law School’s Forchelli Conference Center to increase health programming in their houses of worship.
Founded in 2014, the Health Department’s Center for Health Equity works to eliminate health disparities in neighborhoods with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease and premature death. This year’s summit expanded the scope of health goals to include walking groups, healthy eating and training for mental health first aid and emergency preparedness.
“Our borough’s annual Food, Fitness and Faith Summit is an important opportunity to galvanize the potential of our houses of worship to lead the way in helping our communities’ foster healthy children and families,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric. L. Adams.
As a result of last year’s summit, 11 walking groups were created, 13 blood pressure programs were developed and representatives from 20 faith-based organizations participated in mental health first aid trainings.