Atlantic General Hospital and seven area churches have joined forces to offer free health management services to the community to help them adopt healthier lifestyles and change the healthcare paradigm from “healing” to “preventing.”
These efforts take place in the partnering churches where parishioners are better able to access the resources. Educational sessions on healthy eating and exercise as well as regular height, weight and blood pressure checks will be available through the program, which is titled “A Vision of the Possible.” Each individual’s health will be addressed holistically, with mind, body and soul all taken into consideration.
To engage the community, the Faith Based Partnership has kicked off with a year-long weight loss contest open to all church members as well as other individuals in the community who would like to participate at the partnering church in their neighborhood. The percentage of total body weight loss by the entire congregation during 2011 will determine the winning church.
“Perhaps nowhere else is there such rich potential of primary prevention than in our places of worship,” said Gail Mansell, chaplain at Atlantic General Hospital. “Messages of healthy living, whether from the pulpit or via individual ministry events, go far in reaching people that might not otherwise have access or fully avail themselves of such prevention effort. Our Faith Based Partnership will be a new way to achieve wellness.”
The ongoing healthcare management services and weight loss contest are just the beginning for the faith-based partnership forged with Atlantic General. Over the next 12 months, the hospital will be building an interactive patient portal onto their new web site that will allow users to view test results, schedule appointments and even be in contact with their physicians.
Such an initiative will allow patients and their caregivers to better manage their own health and healthcare options. The faith-based partnership will help a large portion of the community access and use these online resources.
The partnering faith organizations are as follows:
Coastal Sanctuary – Berlin
Curtis United Methodist Church – Bishopville
Lighthouse Church of God – Berlin
Ocean City Baptist Church – Ocean City
St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal Church – Ocean City
St. Paul United Methodist Church – Berlin
Temple Bat Yam – Berlin
For more information about the partnership and its role in the patient-center medical home model
, please call Chaplain Gail Mansell, at Atlantic General Hospital, at 410-641-9725.