Faith-Based Health and Wellness Assessments for African Americans: The Better Health for the Delta Project

By Marie Vazquez Morgan, Larry Proctor, Jennifer Fabre, Suzanne Tinsley and Dennis Wissing.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Purpose: African Americans (AA) have higher prevalence and mortality rates of cardiovascular disease largely due to barriers in accessing health care and disease risk factors. The purpose of this pilot study was to identify risk factor status in rural AA residents of North Louisiana and compare those findings with state, regional and national norms.
Setting/Subjects: Sixty-three adults (16 men, 47 women) attending target churches in Northwest and Northeast Louisiana were recruited to participate in health screenings. Measures: Blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, BMI, physical inactivity, smoking prevalence, and percent body fat.
Analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to compare results to regional, state, and national norms.
Results: The cohort displayed a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, physical inactivity, and percent body fat in comparison to regional, state, and national norms.
Conclusion: Results from this pilot screening demonstrate evidence of a trend of elevated health risks for development of cardiovascular disease in AA adults of Northern Louisiana. Findings indicate the need for further cultural specific wellness interventions including preventative screenings, to lower the health risks of developing chronic diseases in the AA population in Northern Louisiana. Identifying those at risk can lead to earlier diagnosis, and reduced morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: African American, Cardiovascular Disease, Health Screenings, Faith-Based Programs, Wellness, Community Health

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.41-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 393.396KB).

Marie Vazquez Morgan

Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

I earned a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy in 1993, a Masters in Health Sciences in 1997 from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, and my doctorate in Health Studies from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 2006. I have 18 years of clinical rehabilitation experience and have been a faculty member and assistant professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, School of Allied Health Professions since 1997. I have presented research both nationally, internationally, and regionally at continuing educations seminars. My expertise is in neurological interventions as well as nutrition, wellness, lifestyle modification, and community rehabilitation and health. I was honored in November 2006 by Maybelline, NY, as outstanding female educator of the year, and featured in People en Espanol December 2006 issue.

Dr. Larry Proctor


Dr. Jennifer Fabre

Adjunct Faculty, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA

Dr. Suzanne Tinsley

Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA

Dr. Dennis Wissing

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA