Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Michele Hall
Boone County Commission Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (573) 886-4312

Live Well by Faith Earns National Association of Counties 2019 Achievement Award

May 7, 2019—Live Well by Faith, a program of the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS), been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). This award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

Live Well by Faith was developed in response to results found through the PHHS Community Health Assessment. This assessment found that African Americans in Boone County had significantly poorer health outcomes than whites, particularly in regard to the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension. Reducing these disparities is essential to improving the overall health of Boone County.

Live Well by Faith’s goal is to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension by working with the Black church community to create an environment that promotes health. Historically Black churches expand beyond the traditional functions of worship and spiritual growth to impact the social, economic and political welfare of their members and surrounding community, which makes them uniquely poised to make an impact on the health of the Black community. Live Well by Faith established relationships between PHHS and the African-American churches so they could work together to determine and address the specific needs of each church. Each church has health ministry teams or “Lifestyle Coaches” who are equipped with access to health education, evidence-based programs, technical support and the resources necessary to run effective programs. They are educated, trained and certified to teach the programs in order to provide sustainability within each church.

Participating churches have made a variety of changes to support their parishioners in working toward healthier lifestyles and improved health outcomes. Policy changes have been instituted, such as water being availability in the facility, no fried foods being allowed in their kitchens or at celebrations that include meals, no smoking and increased physical activities in the facilities. One congregation has even instituted monthly “Sweat Suit Sundays,” during which the Pastor and congregation wear workout attire for their Sunday service so they can participate in a praise and worship workout session. Environmental changes include the provision of blood pressure cuffs on the premises for use when parishioners attend services and the creation of a community garden on church grounds.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition July 12-15, 2019 in Clark County, Nevada.