National Multi-Platform Initiative Brings Faith and Public Health Leaders
Together to Address Health Disparities Affecting African Americans

The Balm In Gilead, Inc. has set the stage again for the only national conference of its kind to bridge faith and public health. As a three-day capacity-building training event, more than 500 influencers from across the faith, medical and corporate spectrum are expected to convene in Charlotte, NC for the 6th annual 2019 Healthy Churches 2020 National Conference on Nov. 19-22.

The conference takes place at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Charlotte where some of the nation’s leading public health and faith leaders will forge alliances to strengthen the capacity of faith communities to address the alarming rates of health disparities among African Americans.

“For more than 30 years, The Balm In Gilead continues to be a forerunner in addressing health issues that disproportionately affect African Americans,” said Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc. “Every year, we take several steps forward to close the information and application gaps in some of our hardest to reach African American communities.”

The Healthy Churches 2020 Conference has drawn the attention and participation of numerous nationally-renowned health influencers to include Dr. David Satcher, the 16th US Surgeon General and founding director and senior advisor of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine.

“Whether you are in the ministry, medicine or community leadership, we have some tremendous opportunities staring us in the face to improve our health,” Satcher stated when presiding over the prior year’s conference.

Bishop Horace Smith, MD, Senior Pastor, Apostolic Faith Church, Chicago, echoed similar sentiments: “Body, Soul, Mind, your mental health – all that is needed to be a complete person. This conference addresses all of this!”

The conference’s primary objective is to strengthen the skills and leadership capacity of pastors and congregation members who work within church health ministries, and auxiliaries including the kitchen/culinary teams, ministry nursing units, transportation teams, deacon and missionary groups and other outreach ministerial programs.

This week, The Balm in Gilead, Inc. announced its initial slate of speakers for the 2019 Healthy Churches 2020 Conference. More announcements are forthcoming over the next few weeks. The following speakers have been named to date:

  • 2019 State of the Union on Black Mental Health: Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University
    Durham, N.C.
  • 2019 Conference Opening Preacher: The Right Reverend James B. Walker
    The Presiding Prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 2019 Conference Presenter: Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH
    Obesity Medicine Physician Scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass.
  • 2019 Conference Closing Preacher: Rev. Shane B. Scott,
    Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Los Angeles, Calif.

For registration, hotel and other information, please visit: www.healthychurches2020conference.org

About The Balm In Gilead, Inc: The Balm In Gilead, Inc. builds and strengthens the capacity of African American faith communities throughout the United States to deliver programs and services that contribute to the elimination of health disparities. The organization develops educational and training programs specifically designed to establish sustainable, integrated systems of public health and faith principles, which helps to improve health outcomes of individuals living in urban, rural and remote communities. For more information: www.balmingilead.org.