Heart Failure is Killing African Americans
— Rev. Anthony Evans, President of the National Black Church Initiative
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, November 9, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 150,000 African American and Latino churches that constitute 27.7 million churchgoers, is launching its Heart First comprehensive program. This heart education program is the first of its kind created specifically for African American congregations by the National Black Church Initiative and Black leading cardiologists. The program is funded, in part, by Cytokinetics, a late-stage
biopharmaceutical company committed to developing potential medicines that impact the mechanics of muscle and may improve the lives of people living with debilitating diseases.
The news conference will take place on November 10, starting at 12 Noon. The clergy will be present and represented by the Honorable Apostle Chambers President of Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance Association along with Commissioner Sabina Covo to talk about a partnership to help make Miami a little healthier with this new program. St. James Baptist Church is located at 3500 Charles Ave. The Rev. Kenton Williams is senior pastor.
“The first phase of the program is expected to last until December 2023. It will involve five churches in Coconut Grove Miami, FL .Each of the congregations will have an opportunity to hear from an African American cardiologist, thus laying the foundation for a more comprehensive approach in 2024.”
Apostle Dr. John. H. Chambers, President of Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance Association says “The launching of the Heart First project by the National Black Church Initiative is a necessary endeavor for our community. The scripture states ‘…My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.’ The work that NBCI is doing is critical to our community getting the knowledge so that we can be educated on the preventative steps that can be taken to reduce mortality rates of heart issues within our community.
The focus of this heart disease education program will be heart failure. The program will focus on what heart failure is, risk factors, symptoms, and how to prevent and manage heart failure. The critical factor here is to work with the Black Church to come up with a more accurate definition of heart failure including the cultural nuances of how it uniquely affects the black community in contrast to other communities.”
The Rev. Kenton Williams is senior pastor of St. James Baptist Church expresses Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Every beat matters for a healthy heart.
Working to define heart failure more clearly may offer critical clues on how to create a sustainable program to effectively prevent the growth of heart failure in the black community. There will be some preliminary and baseline data collection to help us in shaping an effective prevention program.”
Reverend Anthony Evans, President of the National Black Church Initiative, states “This is (so) exciting because this pilot program is the beginning of a long-term project that will strike at the cultural root causes of why heart failure is so prevalent in the African American community”
The Heart Failure Society of America defines heart failure as a progressive condition in which the heart’s muscle gets injured from something like a heart attack of high blood pressure and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. The heart can be affected in two ways – it either becomes weak and unable to pump blood (we call this situation systolic heart failure) or becomes stiff and unable to fill the blood adequately (we call this situation diastolic heart failure.) Ultimately, both conditions lead to the retention of extra liquid or congestion. So, when patients develop symptoms, we call it congestive heart failure. Many people don’t even know they have it because symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure does not develop overnight – it’s a progressive disease that starts slowly and gets worse over time.
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 150,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. The mission of NBCI is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. NBCI utilizing faith and sound health science and partners with major organizations and officials reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science-based strategies and techniques, and methods that work and offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting-edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues.