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CNR Takes Part in Healthy Churches 2020 Conference

November 27, 2018

In November, Tiffani Blake, dean of students, and Leslie Valero, a senior in the School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions, traveled to Alabama to attend the Healthy Churches 2020 Conference sponsored by the Balm in Gilead, an organization dedicated to helping African-American faith communities in the U.S. and East Africa eliminate health disparities through educational programs and services. Blake and Valero traveled with a delegation from the Archdiocese of New York - Office of Black Ministry, who sponsored their trip.

For more than 30 years, the organization founded by CNR Honorary Degree Recipient, Dr. Pernessa Seale, which delivers science-based, health awareness, understanding and interventions, has been developing “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.”

“The conference brought to light the health disparities within the African-American population,” said Blake. “Through interactive presentations, workshops, and opportunities for worship, HC2020 offered us an opportunity to not only learn about the current health issues that severely impact this population, but to explore ways that faith-based communities, including The College of New Rochelle, can play a major role in addressing health inequity through prayer, advocacy, and education. To be in the midst of pastors, health ministry leaders, health professionals, educators and students, all dedicated to improving the health and wellness of this community, was empowering and demonstrative of the faith community’s belief in the power of prayer and action to enact change in our healthcare system.”

Valero was enriched by the experience on multiple levels.

“As a nursing student, I feel like this conference had the best of both worlds: faith and public health. The idea that both can work hand in hand when providing care to our patients is special,” she said. “It was a blessed, humbling, refreshing, and informational experience that I can now cherish and take with me everywhere I go; from my community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to my community at CNR.