Church and Interfaith Partnerships

What do we do?
We offer training to assist health care professionals in understanding the spiritual dimensions of their patients and to assist clergy in understanding their role as part of the health care team in achieving "total care" for all patients.

Church Partnerships
This Partnership, symbolizes by agreement, a union with local area pastors and their congregations. This union has attempted to raise the awareness of the need for integrating spirituality into the healthcare setting and the utilization of the church as a center of primary health care delivery. The health services provided to churches include health promotion and preventive medicine programs, health screenings, immunizations and when appropriate, patient referrals to the Howard University Hospital.

In the African American community, the church remains the foundation of psychosocial, economic and spiritual support for the congregation and surrounding communities. Therefore, the Partnership?s objective is to creatively utilize this union to improve the health status of the parishioners and to reduce health care disparities in our community. With church pastors and health care professionals on the same team, we can all work together to achieve health promotion.

Partnership Requirements
In order to become a Partner, we require the following:

  • Pastors who are committed to improving the overall health and well-being of their congregations,
  • Pastors who will support and assist us in our outreach efforts to the church communities in the metropolitan area,
  • Pastors who will allow the Howard University Healthcare Team to conduct free screenings and immunizations at their respective churches,
  • Pastors who will contribute $250 yearly to support partnership activities, such as free screenings, immunizations and educational training,
  • Pastors who will sponsor at least (2) persons each year to attend the Spirituality and Medicine Seminar Series and
  • Pastors who will purchase at least one table (10) seats for members of their congregation at the annual Spirituality and Medicine Recognition Banquet.

Partnership Benefits
Our clergy partners receive the following benefits:

Clergy Symposia
These in-service dinner meetings are totally underwritten by the Program in Spirituality and Medicine. Clergy are invited to the campus for discussions on state of the arts research in spirituality and medicine. Notable writers and researchers in this area spend an evening with clergy explaining the importance of the clergy/health care professional team in improving overall patient care.

Summer Training Institute
This two-day training is designed to provide basic, user-friendly information to church leaders about health disparities and risk factors affecting members of their congregations. During the Institute, the participants are encouraged to explore values, thoughts, feelings, experiences, associations, language, assumptions and environmental enabling and constraining factors regarding their understanding of ?total health and wellness.? The trainers are health care professionals from the Howard University College of Medicine.

One of the goals of the Institute is to ensure that our partners create health care ministries at their respective churches, if they have not previously done so. At the conclusion of the training, each Pastor is given a Resource Manual containing basic definitions, warning signs, prevention and nutrition information related to various medical challenges including, cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes and Obesity. While there is no charge for Partners to attend the Institute, non-partners may also attend for a nominal fee.

WOC (Without Compensation) Appointments
In some cases, our clergy partners are eligible for without compensation appointments in the Department of Community Health and Family Practice as Faculty members. These appointments are competitive and must be approved by the appropriate College of Medicine administration.

If you are a Pastor in the Washington metropolitan area, we encourage you to join us as we forge ahead to promote the union of spirituality and medicine. If you are outside of the area and you would like to support our work, your contributions are appreciated.