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Health Ministry Partnerships: Creating a Habit for Health

Horton, Shalonda E. B.; Alvear, Elizabeth E.; Horton, Daryl L.

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000030
Feature: parish nursing/research: CE Connection

ABSTRACT: More than one third of the U.S. population is obese whereas 17% of youth ages 2 to 19 are obese. This paper describes the partnership between a predominantly African American church in central Texas with a state university nursing school to reduce obesity through a health-promotion program. Based upon the success of the partnership and impact of the program, this partnership could serve as an exemplar for other churches and universities in developing health programs.

Learn about a partnership between a church and a state university that grew out of a desire to reduce obesity in the congregation and a nurse educator looking for clinical experience for students. The results are exciting!The CE test for this article is available only online at

Shalonda E. B. Horton, MSN, RN, is a public health nursing instructor at The University of Texas at Austin. She volunteers as the health ministry leader of her church and partners with local organizations in improving the health of communities.

Elizabeth E. Alvear, MSN, RN, is a registered nurse at Seton Medical Center Austin where she works as an inpatient Diabetes Educator. The Seton Healthcare Family network of hospitals is a not-for-profit organization with a special concern to serve the poor and the vulnerable.

Daryl L. Horton, MA, BS, serves as the Assistant to the Pastor and Youth Pastor at Mt Zion Baptist Church. He serves on the Austin I.S.D. Student Health Advisory Committee and as a Commissioner for the African American Resource Advisory Commission in Austin, Texas.

Shalonda Horton received financial support from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church to pay for activities associated with the program. Daryl Horton is on staff at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. There are no conflicts of interest for Elizabeth Alvear.

Accepted by peer review 5/20/2013.

© 2014 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship