CLERGY COMING TOGETHER TO TAKE AIM AT COVID-19

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"Choose life, so that both thou and thy seed may live..."

 

Deuteronomy 30:19

Learn More About Choose Healthy Life

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“When White America gets a cold, Black America catches pneumonia.” 

Unequal social determinants → Racial health disparities → Deadly outcomes …but why?

  • Long, established distrust for the public health system

  • Lack of healthcare access, proper education, diet, exercise and smoking cessation create preexisting conditions which supports the worst outcomes for COVID-19

  • Black Americans often work in jobs that involve crowded conditions or high contact with other people 

  • Unvalidated but equally harmful, are rampant conspiracy theories that are being propagated around COVID-19 

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The conditions that thrust Black communities into a vulnerable state are rooted in a healthcare system that mirrors the systemic and structural inequalities in American society… they have led to racial disparities in morbidity and mortality rates from chronic illness for decades.

Since January 2020, COVID-19 has spread throughout the United States, and has devastated the Black community 

  • Black Americans represent 13.4% of the US population (or approximately 42M) 

  • Geographic areas with higher Black populations account for more than half of all COVID-19 cases, and almost 60% of deaths

¹ AmfAR Study Shows Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Black Americans. AmfAR, AmfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, 5 May 2020, www.amfar.org/amfAR-Study-Shows-Disproportionate-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-Black-Americans/.

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Pressure to open the economy before adequate testing and contact tracing

  • The populations most vulnerable are now being put at a significantly higher risk

  • Vaccines will most likely be unavailable at the earliest until summer 2021

STATEMENT OF NEED: CRITICAL IMPACT OF ECONOMIES REOPENING

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STATEMENT OF NEED:

ADDRESSING THE PANDEMIC IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY

Prioritize COVID-19 testing, care and contact tracing to

our community’s most vulnerable 

In March 2020, the CDC projected that 200,000 Americans would die from COVID and a large percentage in the Black Community. That number has long been surpassed — U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March 2020

THE ACTION PLAN: THE DFA CHOOSE HEALTHY LIFE™ STANDARD

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The DFA Choose Healthy Life™ Standard –A Sustainable, Scalable and Transferable Approach to Public Health

  • Created and developed by Debra Fraser-Howze, founder of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, to address the AIDS epidemic

  • Centered around a network of Black Churches – the most trusted institutions in the community

  • Collaborated with local community-based organizations with a vested interest in providing support to underserved communities

  • Standard can be applied to other health disparities

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GOALS & OBJECTIVES: RESHAPING THE FUTURE OF HEALTH IN BLACK AMERICA

We intend to achieve the following key objectives:

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AWARENESS & EDUCATION

raise awareness and educate the Black community on COVID-19 and other

health disparities

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TESTING

proactively engage the community in a COVID-19 testing campaign to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives

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INFRASTRUCTURE

establish in our churches an infrastructure of trusted health navigators to support their respective communities working in tandem with United Way

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SCALE

establish a sustainable model that can expand to address a multitude of health disparities and be replicated in other communities

The initial focus on five (5) major

U.S. cities

  • New York

  • Newark

  • Atlanta

  • Detroit

  • Washington, D.C.

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THE STRATEGY: ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY THROUGH THE BLACK CHURCH

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The Black Clergy Action Plan

to Eliminate COVID-19

  • The Black church is the oldest and most trusted institution in the Black community –has the power to influence and drive change

  • Serves as the proving ground to incubate local community organizations to educate and deliver health support services

  • Debra Fraser-Howze hosted the Black Church Conclave of 2008 to address the HIV/AIDS Epidemic 

THE STRATEGY: NATIONAL BLACK CLERGY LEADERSHIP HEALTH COUNCIL

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The nation’s leading local Black church ministers have come together to form the National Black Clergy Leadership Health Council co-chaired by Rev. Calvin O. Butts and Rev. Al Sharpton. The council focuses on strategies to address health disparities through the Black church and a voice for the Choose Healthy Life action plan.

National Co-Chairs

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Rev. Al Sharpton

National Action Network

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New York City

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Detroit

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Atlanta

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Rev. Calvin O. Butts, III

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Rev. Jacques DeGraff

Canaan Baptist Church

Rev. Horace Sheffield

New Destiny Christian Fellowship

Rev. Raphael Warnock

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Washington DC

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Rev. Frank D. Tucker

First Baptist Church

Newark NJ

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Rev. David Jefferson

Metropolitan Baptist Church

THE STRATEGY: ESTABLISHING STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Partnering with United Way with support from key advocacy groups

  • United Way creates community-based and community-led solutions at the national and local level –health is among its top priorities

  • United Way of NYC will lead program implementation which can be deployed through locally United Way funded agencies

  • National Black Leadership Commission on Health and the Balm in Gilead will develop and conduct training and community education 

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THE ACTION PLAN: BUILT UPON SUCCESS

Creating a national community mitigation and infrastructure plan to address the pandemic from within the community to include:

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THE ACTION PLAN: CREATING A NEW WORKFORCE

Creating a new workforce in partnership with the Black Church 

  • On the regional level, work with local United Way agencies to establish a Health Navigator Supervisor (HNS) for each city

  • On the local level, recruit Black Church Public Health Navigators (BCPHN)

    • Trained on COVID-19 precautions and testing protocols

    • Work with clergy to establish testing dates and maintain standardized logs

    • Conduct church outreach ministry to raise community awareness

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Choose Healthy Life: The DFA Black Clergy Action Plan

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Resources

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS

unites the Black Church, United Way and supporting community organizations to align on a high-impact plan and execute

ADDRESSING THE IMMEDIATE CRISIS

leverage proven model to immediately address the COVID-19 crisis with testing, isolating, contact tracing and quarantining

ESTABLISHING A NEW PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE

create new public health professional class –the Black Church Public Health Navigator –recruited by the church and trained by local health officials

COVID-19 TESTING

  • One of the key goals for Choose Healthy Life is to make COVID-19 testing more accessible for underserved communities and working with the Black church we plan to make that happen.  There may be a community-based testing location that offers no-cost testing options and you can find them sorted by state by clicking here. 

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Our Support

The Choose Healthy Life: Black Clergy Action Plan has been made possible thanks to the financial support of founding partner Quest Diagnostics Foundation and catalytic funding from Resolve to Save Lives, a global health initiative focused on helping advance scalable, proven strategies to prevent and address epidemics.

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"The Fierce Urgency of NOW"

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

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