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Cancer Center Enlists Churches as Partners in Advancing Health

By Robin Hindery, UCSF Today | September 3, 2009

UCSF will sponsor a one-day symposium on September 12 to highlight the importance of faith-based organizations as crucial partners in promoting good health.

The second-annual event, "Abundant Life: A Gathering for Faith, Health and Community," is open to churches in and around San Francisco and will attempt to foster the development and growth of "health ministries," which UCSF defines as "special missions that integrate faith and health for their members and the communities they serve."

The symposium is being organized by the Faith Communities Committee, a coalition of African American religious organizations and voluntary associations that is part of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center's Community Advisory Board.

The annual gathering of church representatives is one component of the cancer center's Abundant Life Health Ministries Initiative, which was created in response to the high rates of chronic disease in African American communities, including many cancers, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The initiative seeks to build upon the prominent role of churches in the lives of many African Americans by establishing a widespread, collaborative effort to address health disparities. Eliminating such disparities is one of the primary objectives of the UCSF Strategic Plan, which calls on the University to serve the community through partnerships.

Read more at Robin Hindery, UCSF Today