Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW), an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, is funded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and The Duke Endowment. The mission of PHW is three-pronged:
1. To develop worship aids and other resources that draw the connection between mind, body and spirit.
2. To build key partnerships between congregations and existing health programs throughout the state.
3. To facilitate congregations to serve as health promotion centers in the community – serving healthier church meals, encouraging physical activity, addressing mental health concerns, and reducing the impact of smoking on congregants and their neighbors.
Each year in North Carolina, thousands of people die of preventable diseases and almost 1.5 million North Carolinians currently lack health insurance. As Christians, we follow as Lord and Savior someone who is still referred to as the Great Physician; someone who heals the sick, guides the lost, and liberates the oppressed. The Council shares God’s concern for all areas of our lives – our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. We believe that the Church remains an institution of great influence in the community and that faith leaders have a unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of congregants.
By making a few changes – perhaps as simple as offering water as an option at church meals or as involved as providing smoking cessation classes – churches can help congregants make healthier choices and potentially add years to their lives. Congregants can reduce their risk of developing certain diseases – e.g., heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and some cancers – by eating nutritious foods and being physically active.
PHW will support churches in their efforts to create healthy and whole congregants by connecting them with quality health programs and resources in the community. We have partnered with over a dozen religious and secular non-profit organizations, state programs, research centers and other entities that share our mission to promote health as a practice of our faith and will provide free or low-cost resources to congregations.
Finally, the Council and its member judicatories will affirm congregations that take part in PHW through the PHW Collaborative.
For more information about the PHW Initiative in general, please contact Chris Pernell, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-828-6501.