USC Hosts Third Annual Faith and Health Symposium

August 11, 2017

The USC PRC hosts an annual training symposium as part of its mission to increase capacity among public health practitioners to implement evidence-based public health programs. The 2017 symposium, entitled “Implementing and Sustaining Physical Activity and Nutrition Programs in Faith-based Settings: Insights from Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN),” examined how faith-based, evidence-based programs are put into practice, using the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) program as a model. FAN is a combined physical activity and dietary program, previously found to be effective, that helps churches create a healthy church environment. It is indexed in the National Cancer Institute’s Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs). Sixty-three people attended the symposium and represented diverse sectors including academia, public health, faith-based settings, and other health-related settings.

As part of the opening presentation, PRC Director Dr. Sara Wilcox described the development and evaluation of FAN, its core program components, and key steps to implementation.

A panel of faith-based partners, who have experience implementing FAN in local churches, offered insights on factors such as tailoring the FAN program, keys to successful program implementation, addressing resistance and other barriers, and planning for sustainability.

During the breakout session, symposium attendees had an opportunity to share their experiences and engage in more in-depth discussion about implementing an evidence-based physical activity and dietary program with churches.

Representatives from two Fairfield County churches who are putting FAN into place. (Pictured) Ms. Barbara Martin from First United Methodist Church (Winnsboro, SC), Ms. Queen Davis and Ms. Yolanda Dodd from St. John Baptist Church (Winnsboro, SC), and Ms. Sarah McMaster from First United Methodist Church (Winnsboro, SC).

Watch a video of the FAN program overview and panel discussion: