Live Well by Faith was developed in response to results found through the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Community Health Assessment (CHA). CHA data indicated that black residents in Columbia experience diabetes and hypertension at significantly higher rates than white residents. Data further indicated that rates of death due to both diseases were two to three times higher for the black population. This mirrors national trends that reveal black people have lower life expectancies, are less likely to have health insurance, make fewer primary care visits, have lower birth weights and higher infant mortality rates compared with white people. PHHS created a workgroup to study these disparities and implement practices to mitigate the incidence and effects of these diseases. The workgroup was comprised of stakeholders from throughout the community, including healthcare, not-for-profit, faith, government and education.
Live Well by Faith demonstrates how a community can collaborate with a nontraditional partner to address heretofore unaddressed chronic healthcare needs within a specific demographic. This kind of collaboration results in better health outcomes and a healthier community at large by empowering community members to improve their own health outcomes.
For more information on the Live Well by Faith program, contact Verna Laboy at 573.874.6318, or email Verna.Laboy@CoMo.gov.