Center for Healthy Communities & Research

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B.R.A.N.C.H Out Partnership

Building A Rejoiceful Alliance of Neighbors for

Change and Health

Program Overview:

B.R.A.N.C.H. (Building a Rejoiceful Alliance of Neighbors for Change and Health) Out is a partnership designed to expand a successful faith based partnership to increase leadership capacity and address health needs of Milwaukee youth through mentoring programs with lay health advisors.  The project will address the following major health risks: high risk sexual behavior, nutrition, obesity and physical activity and social and economic factors that influence health. Traditionally, churches have been cornerstones in African American communities. They are deeply rooted in their communities and are trusted by community members. Churches have a strong tradition of caring for others, providing fellowship, support and education.

History and Overview:

In 2002, Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ and the Center for Healthy Communities in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin formed a partnership to change church and community members' inaccurate myths, perceptions and knowledge, and negative attitudes and behaviors related to cancer.  Together Holy Cathedral and the Center 1) conducted two health fairs with over 175 attendees at each; 2) developed and distributed over 300 community resource directories; 3) gave five education presentations on cancer-related topics; and 4) developed four interactive cancer education modules.

In Spring 2004, Greater Bethlehem Temple World Ministries joined the partnership and administered the four cancer education modules.

Due in large part to the positive response from Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ and Greater Bethlehem Temple World Ministries, the partnership expanded to include five additional churches.  Pastor McClelland, from Holy Cathedral, recommended inviting the following churches to join the partnership:  Mason Temple Church of God in Christ, Christ Temple Church of God in Christ, Ebenezer Church of God in Christ, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, and Parklawn Assembly of God.

Pastors from the above churches and representatives from the Center met in Summer 2004 to discuss potential goals and activities for the partnership.  The pastors identified diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer as prominent health concerns in their communities.  Given the role of good nutrition in helping to prevent these health concerns, Yvonne Greeer, a registered dietitian from the City of Milwaukee Health Department, was also invited to join the partnership.  The partners jointly developed and submitted a proposal to the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program to develop programs and activities the health concerns identified by the pastors.  In December 2004, the partnership was awarded a 3-year $450,000 grant from the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program.  B.R.A.N.C.H. Out reflects the partners' commitment to health in the community.

Partners:

  • Center for Healthy Communities, Department of Family and Community Medicine,
    Medical College of Wisconsin
  • City of Milwaukee Health Department
  • Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ, Word of Hope Ministries, Inc.
  • Greater Bethlehem Temple World Ministries
  • New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
  • Mason Temple Church of God in Christ
  • Christ Temple Church of God in Christ
  • Ebenezer Church of God in Christ
  • Parklawn Assembly of God
  • Christ Tabernacle Church of God in Christ
  • Christ Tabernacle Ministries
  • Cross Lutheran Church
  • Holy Temple Firstborn
  • New Covenant
  • Liberty and Truth Ministries

Goals of the Program:

  • To expand a successful faith based partnership to increase leadership capacity and address health needs of Milwaukee youth through mentoring programs with lay health advisors.

Objectives of the Program:

  • Expand the BRANCH Out partnership to incorporate additional churches and community members
  • Develop Youth Health Councils to plan and implement health education programs
  • Enhance the leadership capacity for participating adult and youth
  • Support and enhance existing programmatic efforts through mentoring opportunities between adult and youth

Funding Sources:

Additional Partnership Materials:

Program Contact:

Staci Young

Marie Wolff

Leslie Patterson

For more information:

Center for Healthy Communities
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Post Office Box 26509
Milwaukee, WI  53226-0509
Phone:  (414) 456-8291  Fax:  (414) 456-6524
 

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Page Updated 06/18/2014