On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in partnership with the Faith Health Alliance and National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care and Equity, held a virtual town hall through Zoom.
Hosted by the Reverend Dr. Joe Samuel Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist Church, the event featured insights from Bishop J. L. Carter, Senior Pastor of ARK Church; Dr. Laura Lee Hall, President of the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity; Richard Harris, MD, Pharm.D., MBA, Great Health Podcast; the Rev. Dr. Terris King, Pastor of Liberty Grace Church of God; Dr. Timothy W. Sloan, Pastor of The Luke Church; and Dr. Ralph West, Sr., Pastor of The Church Without Walls.
Participants discussed issues related to spreading good health this holiday season amid COVID-19 and the flu – and used the event as a launchpad to plan activities to support congregants’ understanding of flu and COVID vaccination moving into the future. They also discussed other aspects of health equity, including chronic disease care, cancer screenings, and healthy living education and support with a holistic approach.
According to The Rev. Dr. Terris King and Bishop Dr. J. L. Carter, who are leading Faith Health Alliance, African Americans have suffered vaccine disparities, COVID-19 infection and death, and other health inequities – through less knowledge and access, social and economic barriers and discrimination and bias in the health system. Pastors can play a pivotal role in closing these deadly gaps.
“The church is committed to spiritual and physical healing – we are spirit and body,” the Rev. Dr. Carter said.
The Rev. Dr. Terris King added; “The interrelatedness of health equity and faith is being renewed nationally by the Faith Health Alliance, organized first to fight COVID and the flu in 10 cities through increased Immunization. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman. Prayerfully, this is a new beginning in addressing that.”
This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Minority Quality Forum’s SHC vaccine initiatives also receive support from Sanofi Pasteur.
Kelly Ann Collins