From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Saving lives as well as souls

Date 20 Jun 2002 14:40:29 -0400

Note #7303 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Saving lives as well as souls

by Pat Gleich

COLUMBUS, OH - While spiritual health may occupy the forefront of the agenda of Presbyterians attending the 214th General Assembly, physical health has been the primary goal of a particular corner of the exhibit area.  The General Assembly Council's Office of Health Ministries, working in concert with the Synod of the Covenant's Health Ministries Program and Senior Independence Home Health Service, have been conducting an ambitious health fair all week. In that time well over 300 GA attendees have been evaluated for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and other health risks. Of those tested, three individuals have been sent to seek emergency medical care - immediately, because of life threatening conditions.

In addition to the medical workups, those who complete the screening process are given a "Health Risk Appraisal" that gives individualized scores indicating the probability of a cardiac event happening in the next ten years, and an armload of wellness information - to help decrease their health risks.

In addition to the health fair and health resource distribution, Health Ministries USA is identifying individuals from congregations who are willing to serve as "Health Ministry Liaisons."  The liaisons will be the second point of contact (the pastor being the first) for congregations to receive information about new resources and programs developed by Health Ministries USA.  The final aspect of programming being introduced at this General Assembly is a Web site, designed to be a platform for health and wellness information, as web a as link for tracking health care legislation and more.

The health fair and expanded health and wellness resource center are designed to introduce the three different focus areas of Health Ministries, USA:  caring for one another, promoting health and wellness, and, working for equity and access in health care.

The Health Fair continues through Thursday in booth 1100.  Contact:  Pat Gleich, Associate for Health Ministries USA  (502) 645-6277, or visit
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