Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly
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April 6, 2022

Welcome to Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly, a resource toolkit for faith and community leaders, like you.

Through each issue, we aim to raise awareness about different health topics, share resources, and provide ideas on how you can make a difference in your community.

Advocate Aurora Health’s Community Strategy, to build health equity and increase life expectancy for historically underrepresented groups – guides the work we do. We want to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

We invite you to share this resource with members of your congregation and community. Please reach out to Cindy Novak with your questions, ideas, and submissions for future issues.
Stepping up for health equity. Health equity means giving everyone a fair shot at being as healthy as they can be.
Give Your Community a Boost!

Each April, National Minority Health Month highlights the importance of taking action to be as healthy as possible. This year’s theme – Give Your Community a Boost! – reminds us to get the COVID-19 booster shot, one of the strongest tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

While COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have slowly declined in recent weeks, the pandemic continues and we need to stay vigilant. We can all make a difference by:

As people of faith, God calls us to live in loving community with each other and keep one another from harm. We can do this by:

Taking these steps fulfills the command – found in virtually all faith traditions – to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
A Platform for Health Equity

National Minority Health Month provides a platform to raise awareness about health inequities that continue to affect historically marginalized communities.

Did you know Chicago has the largest life-expectancy gap in the United States? On average, residents living in the Streeterville community live to be about 90; but just nine miles away, people in Englewood may live only to be 60, reports say.

Chicago is not alone. Gaps in life expectancy occur in many other U.S. communities, as well. Factors, such as structural racism, poverty, unsafe housing, and community disinvestment, allow health inequities to persist.

According to a declaration by Advocate Aurora Health and 38 other health institutions, recognizing racism as a public health crisis:

"All of these factors...serve as a recipe for pain, suffering, premature mortality — and civil unrest. In our communities, there is also resilience, innovation, a tradition of faith, and a spirit of unity that manages to thrive even under the weight of this systemic burden. Imagine the potential for our communities with dramatically improved social and economic conditions and health outcomes."
Share the "Communities in Action" Faith-Based Organizations report.
Faith-based organizations are a key partner in promoting health equity in communities, according to the Communities in Action report.
As people of faith, we can help make health equity a reality by:

Partnering with Advocate Aurora Health Faith and Health Partnerships to develop faith-rooted health promotion programs, expand congregational health ministries, conduct educational workshops, and carry out other faith and health initiatives in your community. Contact us for more details.

Taking the Reason to Have Hope: A Public Health Response to Racism online course, intended to support people in all settings of the church to gain a deeper understanding of the harm that racism and white supremacy have on health and well-being.

Learning about social determinants of health - the multiple, interconnected, and complex factors that contribute to health inequity.

Advocating for legislation and the use of civic resources (e.g., foodshelterchild carerespite, and older adult care) to advance health equity.
Knowing your rights. Learn about civil rights for individuals and advocates.

Starting a conversation about health inequity through CDC's "Conversations in Equity" blog.

Watching the “Unnatural Causes” series to learn how inequity hurts health.Mobilizing your community with guidance on change efforts through the Community Tool Box, a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change.

Becoming a Culture of Health leader, a leadership development opportunity for people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance health equity.
Staying Informed About Black Maternal Health
Learning you are pregnant, giving birth and bonding with your newborn can be a joyous time in a women’s life. But for many Black women, that happiness ends too soon.

Throughout generations, Black women in the United States have experienced inequities that have created poor maternal health outcomes.
  • Black women in the United States are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than White women.
  • Black women experience higher rates of many preventable diseases and chronic health conditions. When she becomes pregnant, these conditions influence both her and and her infant's health outcomes.
  • Black mothers have the highest infant mortality rate than any other racial group.
  • Systematic racism is a driver in Black maternal and infant mortality rates. Things like income level, education, and access to insurance do not improve maternal health. 
Black Maternal Health Week takes place April 11-17. Faith communities can commemorate by sharing articles, key readings, and reports from Black Mamas Matter Alliance.

Throughout the year, faith communities can support pregnant women and new moms by offering:

  • support groups and transportation to medical appointments,
  • classes on newborn care, safe infant sleep, and breastfeeding,
  • community baby showers to provide equipment and supplies to which mothers may not have access,
  • a lactation room for nursing mothers.
2022 Advocate Aurora Health Community Scholarships

Advocate Aurora Health is awarding a total of 20 scholarships - $5,000 each - to 10 members of our communities and 10 dependents of Advocate Aurora team members.

Applicants must meet eligibility criteria to be considered for a scholarship to apply to their 2022-23 academic year.

All applications are due by April 23 with awardees being notified in May.

We’re proud to help broaden the future of health care by providing financial resources to promote equity within our diverse communities.
Additional Resources
Health Equity
Bulletin insert - PDF
Bulletin insert - Word
Worship Slide - PowerPoint
Black Maternal Health
Bulletin insert - PDF
Bulletin insert - Word
Worship Slide - PowerPoint
The Advocate Aurora Local Services Guide allows you to find free and low-cost options for food, safe housing, child care, transportation and more.
The Office of Minority Health wants you to know that infant mortality is preventable. Download brochure.
Advocate Aurora Health Faith and Health Partnerships

Loving Communities are healthy communities.

We work side-by-side with faith communities to promote health equity by mobilizing the transforming power of social connectedness and spiritual wisdom.

Our core belief: Drawing on the wisdom of our religious traditions and the best social and public health science, we believe that positive, mutual relationships and the intentional practice of faith are at the heart of what creates equitable health and well-being for individuals, congregations and communities.

Click here to subscribe to health enews, a news service of Advocate Aurora Health, which offers breaking health stories, weight loss tips, exercise advice, the latest treatment options and much more.
Follow Advocate Aurora Health on social media for the most up-to-date resources and news.